December 13 – Chalice
Isaiah 51:17; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:22‑26; Revelation 3:20
To share someone’s food and drink is to be in intimacy with them. The life of the strongest man is vulnerable to poisons in his food and drink, and kings and emperors for thousands of years appointed their most trusted servants as cup bearers to taste everything served to the regent. Those with whom a man shares his table are usually his closest friends and family. Jesus spent His last hours on earth eating with those He loved.
“Cup” is used in other ways in the Bible too. David said “My cup runneth over” referring to the overflowing blessings of God in his life. Isaiah taught that the wicked would have to drink the cup of God’s judgment to the dregs. Jesus used the word to refer to the bitterness of suffering, sin and death when He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane “Let this cup pass from me.”
The chalice is a type of cup usually associated with the Last Supper of Christ and with liturgical worship. More than a simple cup, it is the most important symbol of communion for it reminds us of the spilled blood of Christ for our sins. As we place this decoration on our advent Christmas tree, let us take a few minutes to thank God for this glorious gift.
As with the bread, the chalice containing the “blood of Christ” reminds us to take His character into ourselves. We must know the Word of God as Jesus did. We must pray daily and intensely as Jesus did. We must trust God completely, while taking joy in His leading, as Jesus did. We must forgive others as Jesus did, and we must look beyond the suffering of this life to the eternal glory to come…as Jesus did. Even more, we must acknowledge that in the greatest sense, we are crucified with Christ, and our lives are actually His.
This Christmas season and all through the year we will see many cups, and even a few chalices. Each time you see one, refocus your life on reflecting His will in you. Take in a double dose of His Word, His works (especially in Creation), and His peace, joy and Love.