John 1:47-48 – When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." (NIV)
Recently, I ran across a picture that triggered a memory of a special pre-Easter service I attended while living in Cape Breton. It was a beautiful re-enactment of the Last Supper. At the time, our congregation was too small to put on a similar production, but the re-enactment gave me an idea that I hoped would help make the Easter season more meaningful for the members in our congregation than consuming huge amounts of chocolate eggs and bunnies.
With the help of some friends, the layout of our sanctuary was transformed into what we hoped would remind our people of the upper room where Jesus and His disciples met for their last supper. We covered the tables with white linen tablecloths and purple overlays, and then added our best pottery. The idea was to share a simple meal of cheese, bread, grapes, and juice with every member of the congregation old enough to sit still and listen to the words being shared that morning. Members of our choir read a prepared paragraph telling how the disciple each of them was representing had met Christ. They shared how this initial encounter with Jesus made a difference in their life. The "meal" was interspersed with carefully chosen hymns of praise and thanksgiving. Selected members, including a child, a teen, and one of the elders from our congregation, shared their own personal encounter with Jesus and how this meeting had made a difference in each of their lives.
This Easter season I'd like to invite us to stop for a moment and reflect on the first time Jesus revealed Himself to us as the Son of God who came to earth to fulfill God's plan of salvation so that we could once again have favour in God's eyes.
Prayer: Dear God, we come to You with thanksgiving in our hearts today, for in our time of reflection, we recognize anew that without You our lives would be without meaning. Amen.