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Students sitting outside Bockman
Previous Day

Saturday, August 18, 2018

We place upon your table, Lord,
where you by grace have bid us dine,
these tokens of our daily work,
the food of life, the bread and wine.

Within these simple things there lie
the height and depth of human life:
our pain and tears, our thoughts and toils,
our hopes and fears, our joy and strife.

Accept them, Lord; they come from you;
we take them humbly from your hand;
put these your gifts to higher use:
the holy meal that you command.

In many churches the elements of communion, the bread and the wine, are brought up with the monetary offerings. It serves as a reminder that Jesus took things of this world, parts of the meal of remembrance during the Passover, and spoke into them a deeper meaning. When the words of institution are spoken, we remember Jesus' words about living bread from heaven and abundant wine that strengthen us unto eternal life.

As the words of this hymn so eloquently convey, we bring our whole selves to the communion table--our work, our joys and hopes, our fears and failings--and offer them to God. We come because we hear Wisdom calling us to turn from our ways and eat at this table. We come because Jesus beckons us. We come to take our place shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And we are newly equipped and sent out again in love and service in the world.

God, Jesus offered his whole life to us, and our whole lives are an offering of thanksgiving to you. Help us honor the offerings between us and go and live lives of infectious servant love. Amen.

Karl Hester, '01
Pastor, Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Salem, Ore.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.