Three jars took up residence atop my bedroom dresser soon after I first started earning money as a child. One was labeled “savings,” another “spending” and the third “tithe.” A percentage of every dollar grossed found a home in one of those jars. I lamented how a lone dollar yielded so little spending power after what I considered such severe dissection. I wish I had a fantastic story about how I filled that “savings” jar by the sweat of my brow and exemplary discipline and then purchased some coveted treasure. But I only remember dutifully counting out the right change into the right jar, never removing the savings, taking the tithes to Sunday school and buying Sugar Daddies, popsicles and jaw breakers at the corner store up the street. With time I came to appreciate the lesson of money management and my jar trio tutor.
This week our Scriptures will focus on practices and sacraments of our faith; some of them newly instituted by Christ during the Holy Week prior to his death. Jesus knew the disciples would not fully understand the meaning behind the actions of washing feet and taking the cup and bread as his body and blood. But he also knew the significance would kick in later when his physical presence was gone and they would need reminders of what he had given them and how he had fulfilled the Father’s will and plan.
As present day believers, we have the advantage of time perspective and can read the story of Jesus from beginning to end. But yet I think Christ is saying again today, that what he does now we will understand later. I Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
We know some about the significance and sacrificial love of our Lord in observing faith practices like communion or baptism, but as we partake in the elements of this season let’s anticipate and ask him for ‘later’ understanding as well.