“I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Linda and I stepped out of the elevator and this is the scene that greeted us. The rooftop restaurant looks out on the Roman Forum and Capitoline Hill. The beautifully set tables announced that a gathering was imminent. And sure enough, just a few minutes after this picture was taken, every seat was filled. A large family and some friends were gathering after a First Communion. Wine began flowing, food was served. The setting was spectatcular, the atmosphere joyful, full of life, a celebration. It was great to be there, even if we were on the outside looking in.
Thank God for these moments. Respites when we may gather with others for celebrations; brief truces in the wider conflicts, struggles and pressures of living, little glimpses of God’s promised future.
When our Lord Jesus Christ gathered with His disciples for what we know as the Last Supper, He was giving them, and us, a foretaste of the future. “I will not drink of the cup again”, He said, “until I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.” In other places, Christ Jesus described the coming kingdom as a marriage feast that knows no end. In every service of Holy Communion the future comes to meet us, full of joy and promise.
Some day, we will all be gathered at the banquet of the Lamb. Fellowship with the Living God will be the occasion for us. The endless drone of the world’s melancholy will finally give way to the joyous harmonies of eternal Easter, the glorious celebration that Christ has prepared for His people. We will enter the banquet hall of the kingdom. Every place will be set and the feast that knows no end will begin!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”