The church we attended this morning excelled in Word and Sacrament (I'm sure they excel also as a congregation, but this can only be known with time). The Scriptures were preached with faithfulness and clarity, and the Eucharist celebrated with reverence and joy. I was particularly moved by the narrative of the service. The scripture readings came from Genesis 18, Revelation 19:6-9, and Matthew 26:26-29 all of which deal with a meal between God and human/s. During the sermon, the pastor expounded Genesis 18, noting four things: (1) God comes to dine with us--18:1-8, (2) We are exposed when dining with God--18:9-15, (3) God exposes his thoughts--18:16-21, and (4) sharing a meal with God transforms and conforms our lives to his--18:22-33. After the sermon, the service progressed to a time of intercessory prayer, confession of sin, assurance of forgiveness, and climaxed in the celebration of Holy Communion. While everyone took of the one loaf and the one cup, a song was sung that tied together the service and blessed my soul. The song is entitled God and man at table are sat down. I will leave you with the words of this hymn.
The wonders all so long ago foretold: God and man at table are sat down.
Elders, martyrs, all are falling down; prophets, patriarchs are gath'ring round,
What angels longed to see now we have found: God and man at table are sat down.
Who is this who spreads the vict'ry feast? Who is this who makes our warring cease?
Jesus, risen Savior, Prince of Peace. God and man at table are sat down.
Beggars, lame, and harlots also here; repentant publicans are drawing near;
Wayward ones come home without fear. God and man at table are sat down.
Worship in the presence of the Lord, with joyful songs and hearts in one accord,
And let our host at table be adored. God and man at table are sat down.
When at last this earth shall pass away, when Jesus and his bride are one to stay,
The feast of love is just begun that day. God and man at table are sat down