Drink from it, all of you. (Matt. 26:27)

The elderly WOMAN in the hospital bed next to my loved one would not eat. Nurses brought food, but she refused it, though she literally wasted away. “Wow this lunch looks great! Let me help you eat it,” the nurse exclaimed. “No! I don’t want it,” She uttered back day after day. One evening the woman requested grilled cheese. “Get it for her now. Anything she wants,” the doctor ordered. The nurse scurried away and brought one back, but the woman waved it away.

At the final meal before his death, Jesus said, “Take and eat.” And with the cup, “Drink of it.” He extended a precious invitation to be spiritually nourished by recalling His sacrifice, as He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. He calls us to inner health and strength through repentance and forgiveness, a soul-satisfying part of the sanctification and growth process that should be as regular as the meals we enjoy.

But just as we must actually eat food for it to do us good, we must chew on and take in the truths highlighted by the Lord’s Supper. We must absorb them into our very being. When we come to the meal Christ provides, it nourishes, satisfies, and tastes sweeter than honey. Don’t gulp it down like a cheap vending-machine snack. Slow down. Savor its richness like the five-star meal it is. And never, ever refuse it.

Eat dinner slowly tonight, and discuss or reflect on what Christ’s sacrifice really means.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys theater, community events, and watching the sun set over the bay.