“Author of life divine who hast a table spread, furnished with mystic wine and everlasting bread, preserve the life thyself has given, and feed and train us up for heaven. Our needy souls sustain with fresh supplies of love, till all thy life we gain, and all thy fullness prove, and, strengthened by thy perfect grace, behold without a veil thy face”. (CPWI 596)
John Wesley wrote this wonderful and well-loved communion hymn in which he calls upon God to do a number of things based on the resurrection from the dead of God’s son, Jesus. At Easter we pause to make Wesley’s prayer our prayer against the background of the empty tomb.
We ask God to “preserve the life thyself has given”. Jesus rose from the dead, conquered sin and death and made that power available to us through the mercy of His heavenly Father. God therefore preserves our lives every day, not just protecting us from harm but also giving the wisdom to make the right choices for the future. The right choices today have a direct impact on tomorrow.
The resurrection is also a source of food for the journey. The risen Christ gives us food through his grace and through the sacraments of the church to strengthen us physically and spiritually. Often the challenges are many, the burdens are heavy, and we feel ill-equipped and incapable. Our constant prayer must be “our needy souls sustain with fresh supplies of love”. In the face of joys and sorrows, triumphs and struggles of life, keep your eyes fixed on God’s fresh supplies of love. Faith in God is the only anchor in the storm of every-day life, national affairs and world events. If we focus on these things without God, we will only become disillusioned and give up. The resurrection gives us the strength and the means to find a grounding that is above the earthly struggles, and to seek a destination that is beyond our earthly experience.
Let your prayer be ‘Lord “preserve the life thyself has given, and feed and train us up for heaven’ ”.
My family joins me in wishing you all a happy Easter.