Stuffed Animals…. and the Lord’s Supper!

Garrett with Garbanzo

Happy Monday! I know I have talked to a few of yall about how my next post will be about my journey working through mental health challenges. However, I still need a little bit more time to work on that entry before I post it. In the meanwhile, I thought I would share this fun story!

Prior to my first deployment, Garrett and I were looking for ways to stay connected despite the distance. We had been married for only a couple of months and we were not yet living together – Garrett was in Florida for training and I was stationed in San Diego. One strategy I had heard of was asking your husband for a stuffed animal: a tangible gift that you can keep with you to keep loneliness at bay. Not knowing what else to try, I went for it. Garrett was a little amused at the childlike request, but of course he obliged. Well, sort of. Himself an inexperienced stuffed animal shopper, Garrett tried to order a Beanie Baby size orangutan (inspired by a previous zoo trip), but accidentally bought a stuffed monkey almost as big as I am! He got quite a bit of grief from his roommates and I was physically unable to bring the orange King Kong on the ship with me, but I really appreciated the effort. Needless to say, Garrett and I discovered other, less hairy methods to stay connected through our dual military years, but Garbanzo the Orangutan remains to this day a special symbol of that journey.

We are physical beings. It is hard for us to believe in what we cannot see and cannot touch. We are easily distracted by our senses and the constant stimuli in our environment. Just as Garrett gifted me with a stuffed animal as a tangible reminder of his love for me, God gifted us with the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as a tangible reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins. During the Lord’s Supper, we physically hold a piece of bread and a cup of wine, just as the disciples did with Jesus before His death. Then as the sacraments touch our lips, we meditate on the fact that just as real as the bread and wine are, so was the breaking of Jesus’ body and the spilling of his blood on a Roman cross. Furthermore, we are the reason why Jesus had to die – as we chew the bread and sip the wine, we are reminded of our complicity. BUT the Lord redeemed the cross, and three days after Jesus’ death, Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death once and for all! Now we can come before the Father, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.  May we rejoice in these truths, constantly, and may the Lord’s Supper remind us to praise Jesus for his sacrifice on the cross for our sins.

“He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Post by Brynn Gray

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