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Sunday we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. This supper had a variety of meanings in the early church, and we have explored some of these on past Communion Sunday’s. This time we will explore the Lord’s Supper as a messianic banquet. When Jesus said: “I will never drink of the fruit of this vine until I drink it new in the kingdom of God,” the first Christians recognized a reference to this banquet. In their culture, this was an image of abundance at the end of time, when God fed the people and all were at peace. Indeed, in some of these stories, God fed the people with manna, so that there was no more hunger. Jesus used this image in his teaching and expanded it to detail how God included all people. The banquet was not exclusive, as if only the rich and powerful were invited, but goes out to the poor, the blind, the lame, and the gentiles: all are God’s people, and so all are invited. This meaning gives hope to a world that is weary with hunger and strife, and so in need of God’s helping hand.