The scene of The Last Supper

Do any of you remember when you had a cardboard paper fan on a flat stick to use in church in the summer because there was no air conditioning? I remember the church I grew up in (and one of those which I currently serve) had beautiful fans from Popkess Mortuary with the scene of the Last Supper (as we imagine it) printed in color on them. We had fans high up in the ceiling, but to have one of those fans was something very special, especially if one was handed to you as a child. They were treasured and well taken care of.

I remember as a little girl, sitting in church, holding the fan, and looking at the picture and thinking about it. In the Church of the Brethren, we observe “Love Feast,” which includes a simple meal, washing of each other’s feet and communion (the bread and the cup). We do this in remembrance of our Savior, who did this to His Disciples just hours before He was arrested.

Had we had air conditioning, I would not have had the opportunity to study that picture. Even as a little girl, I realized it wasn’t realistic, because of the nice robes they all wore and the fact they were sitting at a table facing forward in the same direction, but I understood the artist was trying to portray the beauty of that last meal. The true beauty of that meal only came to light three few days later. The disciples were fearful and confused… Does that sound familiar?

So many people seem to be living in fear these days. No matter what life looks like at the moment, we have an all-powerful, loving God who is accomplishing His purpose behind the scene, just as in the beautiful picture of the Last Supper. There was something perfect going on behind the scene. Just as there are days when the sun brilliantly shines and other days which are cloudy and gray, we must remember the sun is still present on those cloudy days, the clouds just block our view of it. 

God is still on the throne, still in control, still present, even when we cannot see Him. That is what faith is. Believing when we don’t see.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1.

Some versions of scripture use the word “assurance” in place of “substance.”

“Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine.” Do you still sing this old hymn? We should, as a testimony and as words of faith and hope for ourselves.

In difficult times, we have the beautiful opportunity to learn to know our Lord more deeply and personally. After all, that little girl in the hot church would not have held that fan with the Lord’s Supper and studied it well over an hour, if the church had been comfortably cooled by air conditioning.

Instead of complaining, start praising God for His Goodness and Mercy! Stop trying… And start trusting. Remember the children’s song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands?” Yes… We had no doubt when we sang it “way back then…” That song has not changed… That truth has not changed.

“Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on thine own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5.

The Word of the Lord.

Cheryl Mishler5 Posts

Cheryl Mishler serves as the Area Minister for Churches of the Brethren in Abilene, Topeka, and Washington, Lincoln and Carleton, Nebraska. She has served as minister for the Washington Church of the Brethren, Buckeye Church of the Brethren in Abilene and as associate pastor for the Rochester Community Church of the Brethren in Topeka. She was called to serve my home church in Sabetha, at Second and Main Streets, in 2011.

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