Who Will Sit With Me?
By JOEL DELPH
Mount Pleasant Campus Pastor
Where will I sit? A simple question, but typing it brings up PTSD from 11-year-old Joel Delph. As the new kid from sunny San Diego, moving to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina brought a world of changes. From experiencing sweet tea to eating grits, the mixture of humidity and heat, and even a new phrase, “y’all,” I felt like I was transported into a whole new world.
At lunchtime, being the new kid in a new school presented a challenge—Where will I sit?
Or more importantly, Who will sit with me?
In middle school, who you sit with matters. It says everything about where you fit in the pecking order, because there’s a timeless dynamic at play—who you eat with matters.
Eating With Sinners
Jesus was a different kind of rabbi. He was known to eat with sinners. He invited himself into the home of a tax collector and actually ate with him! When is the last time you ate with your IRS auditor?
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. Mark 14:24-25 (NIV)
In Luke 7:37-38, Jesus was invited to dinner at a Pharisee’s house. While there, he allowed a “woman living a sinful life” to wash his feet with her tears and perfume that cost a year’s wages.
If who you eat with matters, Jesus could have dined with only those who followed him, but he chose to spend time with those whom society considered to be the worst of the worst. He drew nearest to people whom everyone else seemed to turn away from.
A New Sacrament
In Mark 14, we see Jesus gathered with his disciples to eat the Passover meal, to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from the hands of the Egyptians generations earlier. At this particular meal, Jesus starts a new tradition, a sacrament, with the bread and wine. He outlines the way he will offer himself up as a lamb—sacrificing his body, and his blood for us, so we could be free from our sins. He tells us to eat this meal in remembrance of his sacrifice.
I am grateful for the sacrament of Communion because it helps me remember that Jesus died for me. He conquered death for me. He chose me. He jumped off his throne…to sit with me.
Thank you, Jesus!
- When have you drawn near to someone who others ran from?
- How does the act of taking communion impact the way you view your relationship with Jesus?
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