The sacraments passed out, I stilled my heart in prayer.
I never wanted to take the Lord’s Supper casually—it was too great a sacrifice by Him, to not consider it and the condition of my heart seriously.
The solemn nature of communion had always held a reverent place in my heart since childhood. So much so, that when my family visited an extended family member’s church where communion was taken weekly, I asked permission to abstain because for me, it felt irreverent reducing it to a weekly ritual. My adult perspective has changed, but nonetheless, even as a child the deepest part of me wanted to keep the most intimate act of the Savior with His disciples and with us sacred.
And then it happened.
I set the cup down for a moment to reposition myself in my seat and focus my mind. In as quick as a heartbeat, the cup tipped over and out flowed the wine.
His blood that had been spilled for me on the cross, was now spilled in front of me as I had never before seen it.
A trail of wine representing his shed blood ran in front of me, as tears ran down my cheek.
I was powerless to stop it, just as I would have been powerless to stop Him.
I quickly reached for my purse, grabbed a tissue, and sopped up the blood-colored wine.
The red-stained cloth immediately took me back to a night in ICU. My husband had just gone through a 20-hour surgery, in which we had been prepared that he would have a one in four chance of dying on the table. Every minute of those hours felt like a year in itself, as we waited for the doctors to return with news of his well-being.
When the doctor finally emerged from the surgical doors to say I could go in to see him, relief washed over me. Yet no one prepared me for what I would see.
The first thing I saw was the stark contrast of the pool of red blood beneath him on the white hospital floor. That was all I could handle before growing faint. Held up by the strength of a friend, my eyes drifted up from that morbid sight to see my husband lying in a hospital bed, with tubes and wires coming from every opening in his cancer-wracked, surgically-invaded body. But beeps and whistles gave testimony to the fact that he was still very much alive. That night I sobbed with gratitude for a life still to be lived.
As the music played, my attention was drawn back to the holy practice of communion. As I lost myself in the red-stained cloth, I imagined one other body: that of my Savior, nailed to a cross, his blood poured out for me so that this time, I might live.
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
I had partaken in communion countless times in the decades since accepting Christ as my Savior. Never before, however, had the sacrifice of His shed blood made such a profound impact on my heart. I won’t ever see it the same.
As you contemplate His blood poured out for you, how does that impact your heart today?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
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Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
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- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
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Powerful imagery! And a reminder of what our salvation cost our Savior.
In such a quick moment I saw our Lord’s sacrifice in a much more real way than ever before Robin. I always appreciated it before, but now it became personal. I pray it will be so for others as well. That’s why He came. That’s why He died. That’s why He rose again. To be personal and intimate with each one of us. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Wow! Thank you for sharing that poignant moment with so many things flooding in for you all at once. I, too, have been taking those sacraments since I was a child, and they have always held deep meaning for me. In the quiet time before we share the elements, I dwell on the reality of what Christ did for us on the cross. I often feel overwhelmed by my inability to fully comprehend it all, but my only reasonable response is profound gratitude. The Lord’s presence feels intimate and safe. Whether or not the organist is playing the familiar hymn, I silently offer it as a prayer:
Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
Mary Lee, there can hardly be anything more intimate than sharing in the sacraments of communion with our Savior, and my appreciation of it and of Him only grow deeper and deeper. How does one sufficiently say thank you to another for giving up the comforts of heaven to be born on earth, rejected by man, to die the most painful death imaginable to that I could appreciate forgiveness for all I’ve ever done wrong, and life everlasting with Him? It’s too great a sacrifice for me to fully comprehend. My humble thank you seems so inadequate, and yet it’s all I have. Greater still, He accepts it and says it is enough. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
What a beautiful analogy. For some reason, I didn’t realize that you had a caregiver season we well. I’m so glad your husband is still with you!
Anita, we endured quite a season of multiple trials for several years, and now we are most grateful to look back with thanksgiving at God’s faithfulness to have seen us through that ordeal. It makes His sacrifice for us all the more real. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Dear Michelle, Communion is always such a special time. We also had a time where Doug was in surgery for fifteen hours. God is so faithful during these times of need. Blessings my friend. Diana
Michelle, I remember when i was little, I would go through the motions of communion, not really knowing or understanding what it meant but the older I got and the older I get the more I see the price Jesus paid for our salvation and how important/powerful communion is. Thank you for putting into words the price He paid for our salvation and happy to hear your husband made it through surgery.
I was just reading this morning that we’ve been saved by GRACE, it’s a gift from God, NOT FROM OURSELVES. That gift was purchased by His blood. I’m awed here. What an amazing story about your husband and how that ties in. Powerful illustration, friend.
So glad I saw you at Fath-n-Friends. 🙂
Partaking in the Lord’s Supper is a powerful time of remembrance! I hope you can stop by:
I always think of Psalm 103 when I take communion and the benefits that are listed there, way before Christ died, the foreshadowing of what His cross would provide for us.
My dear Dr. Michelle, what a JOY to visit with you this evening. First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to link up your wonderful posts with Roses of Inspiration – I greatly appreciate it.
This was quite the post, my friend. I am so humbled to have a Savior that went to the cross for me. It did not cost me anything, but it cost my Savior everything – what LOVE! And what a precious gift,
Hugs and blessings to you!
Communion has also always held a very special place in my heart and life. It was years after receiving Jesus as Savior that I truly understood what communion was. I just had not been discipled while young and finally in my 20’s began to understand the sacrifice Jesus made. I have had some amazing times with the Lord during the Lord’s Supper over the years but none as profound as this one you have shared. Thank you so much for sharing it and how the spilled wine took on a whole new meaning for you and the sacrifice it represents. I know I will think about this next time I take communion. I so appreciate your encouragement and love.
What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this. I too shut everything out and focus on the elements. I pray and listen. Praying for you and healing.