April 07, 2018

Joy in Belonging

Luke 22:14-20: Philippians 1:4-6

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel. . . .

—  Philippians 1:4-5

Sharing food together is an important part of belonging and celebrating in most cultures. Whether it is an elaborate meal prepared for a special occa­sion, or traditional holiday dishes for a family gathering, or simple snacks for friends to enjoy, sharing food together is good for fellowship and community.

On the evening before his death, Jesus shared a meal with his disciples. He took the bread and wine of that meal and gave special instructions so that when the disciples came together again, they could do the same and remember all that Jesus had done for them.

The Lord’s Supper (also called Communion, or Eucharist) is the meal shared by believers today as a celebration of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice of love for us. Through this meal, Christ graciously offers us a place to belong. Calling us to live for him as Lord and Savior, he welcomes us with the open arms of grace.

The desire to belong is an important part of human nature. To be in relationship defines who we are as human beings. We engage in relationship with God, with humanity, and with creation. Sometimes in life we might feel as if there is no place where we belong. But know that at the table of Christ Jesus, you are welcome. There is room for you to seek new life, to celebrate, and to belong.

God of joy and welcome, thank you for your abundant grace offered to us through Jesus. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Laurie Zuverink

Laurie Zuverink is an ordained pastor who has served in several capacities of ministry in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Her work ties into the lives of young people, and her passion is to empower and equip the next generation of servant leaders. Pastor Laurie and her husband, Mark, have three children—one in grad school, one in college, and one in high school. Pastor Laurie enjoys deep conversations, bike rides, exploring the shores of the Great Lakes, and watching well-played soccer.

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