Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Are You Washed In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 5:17 – For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (NIV)
This morning when I drove into the church parking lot, I was surprised to see a flock of blue jays hopping on the grass in front of our Fellowship Hall. They were feeding on something, but as there were no berries on the trees, I wondered what they were eating. As I watched a few of them fly away, I saw that they had small white cubes in their beaks. I quickly realized that they were feeding on the communion bread from last Sunday morning!
After each communion service, instead of putting the elements in the garbage or down the drain, or allowing them to be consumed in a non-sacramental way, our church elders dispose of the extra bread and wine by emptying the cup's contents on the grass and scattering the small squares of bread on the lawn. Eventually, God's creatures come and feed on the elements: insects, birds, and small animals. Today, however, was the first time that I have seen any of them actually taking communion!
Grace is a wonderful gift that we've been given through Christ, so that we may dwell with God in His eternal kingdom. Seeing the blue jays feeding on the bread crumbs reminded me of the simple way that my heavenly Father nourishes me with the bread of life and the cup of salvation.
May you experience the richness of God's grace and the blessing of His goodness today.
Questions for reflection: What does communion mean to me? How have I experienced God's grace through it?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of grace that You purchased for us through the giving of Your body and blood. We know that we do not deserve such a bounteous blessing, so we are humbly grateful for what You have done and what we have been given. In Your holy name, we cheerfully pray. Amen.
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Thank you John.
A good word John.
John, joining the birds on our snow covered lawns in praising God for His care through our feeders. Thanks for sharing this devotional. Blessings.
Thank you. That is a treasure – for the picture in my mind and for the deeper message touching my heart. God’s creatures partaking.
Dear John l loved your Devotional today it was lovely and heartwarming. I always enjoy your writings but today it really touched my heart. God bless you.
Thank you John for the gift of your knowledge from your perspective. Each of us has a view of God as we have experienced it. Our view is also expressed through our experience of God as we have experiemced in our individual lives.
Dear John Stuart,
The blue jays experience the bread as free grace. (Incidentally, we have the occasional blue jay stay over winter in southern Manitoba — which is to us a grace, when we do not have many winter birds.
May you experience the richness of God’s grace and the blessing of His goodness today.
Well I hope that bread was unleavened bread as the yeast in bread is not good for birds.
Up here we are not to feed bread to birds unless it has been toasted I do not know what the toasting does but it must do something to the yeast.
They told us several years ago that people feeding bread to the ducks and geese was killing them maybe you should check it out.
Once again you have blessed me with this beautiful analogy. I’m going to suggest it to my Elder.
God led me late last night by impressing me to look in a place I thought I had thoroughly searched for an important piece of business I had lost. My heart is still singing his praise for this answer to my prayers. I would never have found it otherwise.
Thank for this inspirational meditation.
Thanks John for your devotional this a.m. Glad to hear someone else does with the left over elements as I do. Although I don’t get any blue jays I see a lot of chickadees & finches enjoying the treats. Interesting to watch what some birds do & how smart they are. One time had a crow attack my recycle bag & pull out a discarded church bulletin & pecked all along the outline of the order of service as if he was checking off what scriptures & hymns were on that day. The Lord has created some great inhabitants! Lord’s blessings upon you,
Good Morning, John,
As usual, when I noticed the author, I was sure that I would be inspired by your meaningful and compassionate words, but that was not to be the case. I read with a surprised and heavy heart the words which described what happens at the end of your Holy Eucharists.
Is it not said at the consecration of the elements “This is the body of Christ” and “This is the blood of Christ”? You are telling all our readers that you spill the blood of Christ on the ground, and throw His body to the creatures of the earth! As people come to our Eucharist services, they are counted by the Greeters, and that number (plus a few extra) are placed on the patten. The wine and water are an estimation by the Celebrant. Following the Eucharist, the Lay Assistants and the Celebrant share and consume whatever remains, and the vessels cleaned. All that has been Devinely Blessed is consumed.
I believe that what Jehovah has blessed as God’s gifts to His people should never be cast aside.
May the Almighty God richly bless you and your people, now and forever.
I received your Daily Devotional here at the church where I work in Toronto Canada.
We have been told by the local animal society and by the local zoo with a large bird sanctuary that the communal wine and the bread is not good for the birds. The flavoring and softness of the bread is not good for their digestive system. Some cannot chew it at all. The juice or wine really upsets their digestive system due to the coloring and added flavors. Apparently what happens these “treats” sit in their digestive system and the bread just expands and finally kills the birds.
Please do not give these “treats” to the wildlife.