Sweet Communion

“For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table?”

communion“But I am among you as One Who Serves.”

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” The words of Frances Crosby rang out, clear and true. It was the last day of the retreat and we’d all gathered for the final session and to partake in Holy Communion. I always found this custom interesting. In my particular denomination, we took Communion once a month or on special occasions. But every conference, no matter the location or sponsor, always ended with Communion. 

images “Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!”

I’d connected with friends from a previous conference and sat in the front row aisle seat. These ladies happened to enjoy sitting on the very first row in the auditorium! Sometimes I felt a little too close to the speaker. Front and center could be uncomfortable when the Word of God began to pierce your heart and Holy Spirit brought forth conviction!  Yet all had been washed clean as the new day brought forth new mercies and fresh revelation.

communion-lordssupper-bread-455260-o“Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”                    

Familiar scripture from Luke’s Gospel ushered us into a time of prayer and preparation. Leaders took their places and were served…the body and the blood…that they might, in turn, become servants.

“This is my story, this is my song.”

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I made my way to the front and ate of the body and the blood. Tears flowed freely as I knelt at the altar. “Perfect submission, perfect delight,”. Oh that the words being sung would become my mantra! “Visions of rapture now burst on my sight!” The front row seat had provided me a glimpse into eternity. Woman after woman came forward, lines formed on both sides of the auditorium. One by one they ate of His body and drank of His blood. Approaching the altar, then returning to their seats, their voices sang out in unison, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” Was this not what heaven would be like? Would we not enjoy sweet communion with our Savior and praise Him for all eternity?

Crosby’s words became manifest as the atmosphere changed. “Angels, descending, bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” Ah, such sweet communion.

The conference had brought us together, women from all walks of life, as followers of Jesus. We’d sat at His feet listening intently while speakers brought forth His Word. We’d fellowshipped, shared, laughed, received, wept, broke bread, prayed, and worshipped together even as the disciples did some 2000 years ago. Wasn’t it fitting then, that we too should end with Communion?

That we might take into all the world

such a sweet Communion

and become as One

Who Serves?

Yes,

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This is my story

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and my song.

“Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

Blessed Assurance/Frances J. Crosby, 1873

Mizbe’ah ~ A place of sacrifice

Ge. 22: 9 “When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar…”

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The Altar

In every church you’ll find one, that special place of reverence. It’s typically a tangible structure set aside for various uses such as prayer, baptism, communion…usually found in the front of a sanctuary near the pulpit.

A Living Sacrifice

In every church you’ll find one, that special person clothed in humility.  They’re typically the Matriarch or Patriarch of the congregation. A tangible source, always available for prayer, filled with the Holy spirit and in constant communion with God, they can usually be found in the front of the sanctuary near the pulpit.

Embracing The New

For the first time, I attended the healing service at our new church.  And there she was, standing in front of the altar…the one clothed in humility.

She chose her words carefully, yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit. After a short teaching, all were invited to partake in the laying on of hands and prayer, kneeling at the altar.

Many came. But it wasn’t until the last person had been attended to did she, herself, ask for prayer. No longer able to kneel, she came and sat on the altar rail.

This Matriarch

I listened intently as she gave the “back story” to her prayer request. Deep sighs and occasional tears only intensified the radiant glory of the Lord which rested upon her.  She recounted all the times she’d visited this altar ~ her mizbe’ah.

Calling on the Name of the Lord, she had sacrificed by laying down each and every member of her family ~ right down to her great grandchildren. Calling on the Name of the Lord, she interceded for each person who’d ever gone forward on a Sunday morning as she met them at the altar.

Ge. 22:12 “Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son.”

I began to see, not in the natural but in the spiritual realm, the altar she had built. Life after life, week after week, year after year, the bodies continued to stack up in front of where she sat.

I saw as she recounted those who had passed on, yet alive in Christ Jesus! I saw as she described those who were alive yet dead in Christ. I saw as she displayed her unwavering faith, believing that these souls would one day come to the fount of Living Water and receive everlasting life.

Ge. 26:25  “Isaac built an altar there and called on the Name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent and there his servants dug a well.”

Yes, here in this church, she had pitched her tent and called upon the Name of the Lord.  And surrounding her mizbe’ah, that night we clothed ourselves in humility and became her servants. There we pitched our tents and dug a well.

Buckets

~ where we found a plentiful supply of water ~

Water bucket being raised from a well

 Living Water

And though I participated and came away full, the experience begs the question…

Where is my mizbe’ah?

Where is yours?