This morning I wrote about the estrangement of Abram and Lot and now we have the reconciliation of sorts. In the previous chapter I found the important part to be the recognition that we won’t always get along with those we love and we often need space. Abram and Lot separate with Lot settling in Sodom.
At that time Sodom and four other kingdoms were under the rule of four eastern kings and they rise up in rebellion and get defeated because the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah flee the field of battle. In the aftermath all the people of Sodom are taken prisoner which includes Lot. When word reaches Abram that his nephew is captured he rallied his men and goes forth to rescue his nephew.
After this is accomplished the defeated kings attempt to treat him like a hero. Abram accepts the gift of hospitality and their blessing. They bring out the bread and wine and say a blessing to the God Most High.
The importance is really in the bread and wine. Here is Abram, soon to be Abraham, a man blessed by God and told that his offspring will one day be as numerous as the grains of dust on the earth. Here he is eating of bread and drinking of wine.
With Holy Week nearly upon us and Easter a little more than a week away the significance of the bread and wine should be lost on no one. It is bread and wine that Jesus offers to his Apostles at the Last Supper and it is the bread and wine we take at communion.
Think of the significance of the communion cup and the place God has set at his table for us. God has set this place at his table for everyone, but beyond that think of the practical connection and not just the metaphorical and supernatural. Abram takes up the bread and wine a couple thousand years before Jesus does, and now millions of people around the world do the same.
It is through the communion that we are united as Christians. It is the offer of God’s grace and forgiveness of it and our acceptance of it. It is our acceptance of ourselves as flawed beings in need of forgiveness.
I struggle with thinking of myself as connected to all Christians. I look at some of our elected officials who claim to have God on their side but wish to use good to oppress people different from them. I ask myself if they are connected to me through this shared action then how can I help to show them the error of their ways?
The answer is it isn’t my job. God accepts us as we are. I have to accept that I have to share in this act of hospitality and togetherness with people that see the world through the lenses of division and hate. I have to accept that God is the one that brings back the lost sheep, not me. I can do nothing but offer love, grace, and kindness to all God’s children. We are all on the same journey, after all, we are dust and to dust we shall return.