“[Jesus] took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
Someone returns from shopping, hands you a bag and says, “I got something for you.” Or they look at the name on the gift under the Christmas tree and say, “This one’s for you.” After paying for a meal, you hand a little extra cash to the server and say, “This is for you.”
There is something about the words “for you” that gets me every time. My heart skips a beat. I blush, just a little. “For me? What is it? Oh, wow, thank you. Hey, look what I got!” Other times I feel guilty. “You didn’t have to get me anything. I didn’t get anything for you.”
We look into this mirror a lot. We hear these words every time we kneel for holy communion.
This is for you – even if you’re a traitor, a coward, a thief, doubtful, or a deserter. (Like the disciples)
This is for you – when you worked hard, did a great job, and feel really good about yourself. (We all have good days.)
This is for you – even if you broke your promise, were caught red-handed, and then lied about it. Again. (We all have days like that, too.)
This is for you – even if you don’t know who you’ve disappointed, ignored, or hurt. (We can be oblivious.)
This is for you – even if you’re feeling disappointed, ignored, and hurt. (We know how it feels.)
This is for you – even though it didn’t make a bit of difference last time.
This is for you – even if it changed everything last time.
The words “for you” bring God’s amazing grace home to us. Grace means no conditions. No strings attached. Expecting nothing in return. Jesus’ body was broken for us. His blood was poured out for us. While we were sinners.
Listen for those words. Let the “for you” of the sacrament shock, surprise, and reassure you each and every time.
Lord, you shouldn’t have. But I am so glad you did it all for me. Amen.