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Posts Tagged ‘Communion’

A Reminder of your Trade.


The disciples of Christ witnessed what was probably a mind blowing and heart wrenching event.  Together with Jesus, they ate the Passover meal together, worshiping the Lord and His salvation.  It was to their amazement that as they worshiped and ate, the Son of God was moving His Father’s plan to a new phase…a New Covenant with mankind.

The events that followed that meal stretched them beyond what they were used to.  Jesus, on a normal day, would challenge them with unseen truth consistently.  But the next few days would be the biggest test of whether they truly believed and were truly committed.  In the end, after witnessing the near death beating of Jesus, His public humiliation as He drug His own cross on His bloodied back through the streets, His public execution on a hill outside the city, and His return to them in full body and spirit, they had to make a decision.  Were they committed to this cause or not?  The final piece of evidence was in.

The disciples were called by Jesus personally.  And they did leave many things behind for the period of about three years to follow and learn from Him.  Now the scenario was shifting.  They were going to be the leaders.  This movement of God rested on their decision to step up to the plate again.  They did.

Can you imagine what each communion time meant to them?  The book of Acts tells us that the early church met regularly to  ‘break bread’ together…to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.  Paul later writes in 1 Corinthians that when we get together to share the bread and juice, that we do it in a way where we truly remember the reason for it.  Sometimes we’re so far removed from the events of those few days that it doesn’t resonate with us.  Is it holy for us?  Have we come to a point, personally, where we’ve decided fully what the evidence shows?  There is no body in the grave.  We can trade everything about us for everything about Him.  Does your communion time help you remember what you’ve traded for, what you’ve willfully given up and the mission you’re on?  Or is it just a snack that you eat out of tradition?

For the disciples and the early church, I think it was a remembrance of what they had given up and more so what they had gained.  They knew without a doubt who and what they had committed to.  They were committed to their Creator. This world was no longer their home and destiny, and they had a mission to help others know these truths as fast as they could.  When they broke bread together, they remembered the Jesus who traded everything for their sake.  The bread and the juice now remind them that they are on a mission to trade their live’s for the sake of those around them…just as their best friend did for them.

So what are you reminded of at ‘communion’ time?  Do you simply say a short prayer asking God to forgive you for everything evil you did last week?  Do you look at a cross for focus?  Do you wonder if the juice is past it’s ‘freshness’ date?  Do you bow your head because the people around you are doing the same thing?  Or…do you take it fully known what you’ve left behind and what you’ve committed yourself to?  Do you take it thinking about the battles that will happen through coming days…and that you’re ready for it?  Do you take it asking God to show you things that you yet need to trade or sacrifice?  Do you take it truly saying, “I want to be like Jesus and look like Jesus and sound like Jesus no matter what happens?

You see, I don’t believe that Jesus wants us to just ‘remember.’  There needs to be a purpose in remembering.  And I don’t believe it’s just to remember how blessed we are or how forgiven we are.  Those things are great!  Don’t get me wrong!  But shouldn’t knowing those things drive us to ‘do’ something different outside of ourselves…unselfishly.  I think that when we break bread together, we remember that life not about us…about me, me, me.  It’s about the team we’re on, the church, and who we’re on mission for.  It’s completely about the mission to help people see the chance for forgiveness and eternal life.  The Lord’s Supper may very well be a sacred and reverent rally cry for us, Jesus’ army, the church.  It is to remember how lowly we are and how desperately in need of the sacrifice of Jesus we are.  It is to remind us that without Him we were nothing…and now that He as made us new, to move forward with grace and power and with His Spirit.  It’s to remember what He traded for us and what we choose daily to trade for His glory.

Love, Serve, Spread the Word!

ed

WANT TO SEE A GREAT VIDEO ABOUT TRADING?  CLICK HERE!

Questions for Growth:

  • Do you consider the Lord’s Supper holy and sacred?
  • If yes, how does cause you to approach it?
  • Does remembering Jesus death, resurrection and example through the cross cause you to reflect on how you’re living and how you will live through the next days or weeks?  Short version…Is it a point of change for you?
  • What will you do this week to help you prepare more for your next time of “breaking of bread” with your church family so you can make it more holy and still more productive for you…as Christ intended it.
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Palm Sunday


Why do you remember?  It’s the beginning of whats known as the Passion Week.  But why do you celebrate?  Why do you take time, if you do, to remember Jesus?

We often go through this week recognizing the events, moving through the motions as our heritage or tradition dictate….but why?

I believe its simple.  We forget.  In our day to day schedules we become caught up in all thing ‘us.’ Jesus, when around the table at what we commonly refer to as The Last Supper, asked his friends to remember Him when they celebrated the Passover. 

He created us (John 1:1-3) and He knows that we struggle with sin and Satan’s strategies against us.  Regularly being mindful of Him and the grace we need might very well keep us in the right frame of mind to be a faithful servant to our King, and a faithful servant to our neighbors.

Remember well.  Let it drive you to pleasing our Lord.

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,
ed

Do This

March 29, 2012 1 comment

As kids I think we can all remember times when our parents would say, “Do this.”  Sometimes we would simply respond with a straightforward ‘OK’ followed by action.  Sometimes we might have questioned our parents as to why in the world they would ask us to do whatever it was that needed doing.  And, still, at other times, we would adamantly say “no.”  We just didn’t want to do it.  However, for the most part, when someone in authority over us asks us to specifically do something, they have our attention.

Jesus asks two of His closest disciples to go ahead of Him and the rest into the city to begin preparations for the Passover meal and celebration.  He says that as they enter the city, they’ll see a guy with a water jar.  They were to follow “water jar guy” into a house and then say, “Master wants to eat with His disciples.”  It’s seems like a weird FBI Intelligence set up…but knowing Jesus…His plan was set and the players were in place.  John and Peter carefully followed the instructions and were soon beginning preparations for the celebration.

The time came for the meal, the meal commanded by God beginning after the last plaque in Egypt many years ago.  The disciples gathered around the table and Jesus jumps right in telling the disciples how much he has waited to eat this specific meal at this specific time.  They’ve all eaten this meal once each year their whole lives.  Why is this one any different?  Yes, it’s important, but Jesus must have seemed a bit more anxious, impatient, and possibly fidgety this time.

He took a cup and gave thanks and passed it around saying to share it with each other saying that this was the last time He would drink it like this with them until the New Kingdom came.  Then He took the bread and passed it around and said it was His body.  At this point the disciples are seeing that there is something different here.  Before this was about remembering the lamb that was sacrificed to cover or protect the Israelites from the death angel.  Now the meal is taking on a different shape.  Jesus is bringing the focus to Himself.  The cup again is lifted and Jesus now says that it is His blood…of the new covenant.  Those were words that I’m sure caught the disciple’s ears.  New Covenant.  Is Jesus changing this meal?

Six words that were spoken in the middle of these two illustrations of body and blood said it all.  All their lives, as well as any other Israeli who observed the Passover, knew that this meal was to remember the time when God gave the Hebrews their freedom from Pharaoh.  But now Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He said that this is a “new covenant.”  Things were shifting.  And what was this “new Kingdom” he was talking about?  Little did they know that within hours they would see the God Man taking the place of the sacrificial lamb.

With Jesus’ few words around this table, this meal of remembrance became more than a tribute to God’s actions in Egypt.  It was now about freedom from eternal separation and death.  This is worth noting.

After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven, we see the birthed church regularly participating in this meal…they didn’t want to wait for a once per year event.  This was too big.  This wasn’t about checking off a “holiday” that may have become ritualistic in many a person’s heart.  This was about remembering the biggest event in the history of the world…and taking in the meaning on a very personal basis.

How do you participate in this meal of the bread and cup?  Do you miss it when you’re away from it?  Is it a sacred part of your week or month?  I know that many church families share in communion in different ways and with different frequency…but the point is to always remember Him.  Moses warned in Deuteronomy 8:11, “Be careful that you do not forget the lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.”  Jesus doesn’t want us to forget Him.  Forgetting Him would mean that we move farther away from Him…farther away from His love and His forgiveness…which is our way to the Father.

Questions for Growth:

  • Why do you think Jesus chose this (communion) as a means to remembering Him?
  • Do you always approach the Lord’s Supper as though it is sacred?
  • Do you remember Jesus every minute of every day leading up your church’s communion time?
  • Do you think that Jesus realized that we are a forgetful people…and that we need reminders? Why do you think God uses sacred memory moments like this?
  • What do you need to do this time around so that communion can be even more special between you and your savior?

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

ed

Never Ever Forget

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Never Forget – Exodus 12:24-28, Mark 14:12-26

 

***

The man of the house finally took all the disabled umbrellas to the repairer’s. Next morning on his way to his office, when he got up to leave the street car, he absentmindedly laid hold of the umbrella belonging to a woman beside him, for he was in the habit of carrying one.

The woman cried “Stop thief!” rescued her umbrella and covered the man with shame and confusion.

That same day, he stopped at the repairer’s, and received all eight of his umbrellas duly restored. As he entered a street car, with the unwrapped umbrellas tucked under his arm, he was horrified to behold glaring at him the lady of his morning adventure. Her voice came to him charged with a withering scorn:

“Huh! Had a good day, didn’t you!”

***

 

Forgetfulness.  It stinks…and I’m and expert.  I walk into a room and forget why I’m there.  I often forget which jacket I place my car keys in.  I put receipts in my wallet so I won’t forget what they were for, only to forget that I need to look at them and months later thumb through them with confusion.  I try to use a calendar…but I forget where I put it last.  Sticky notes?  Yes, I put them in lots of places…but forget to look at them.  Names?  Let’s not even go there.  I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation.  Call it stress related, sleep related, busyness related…I’m forgetful.  Many of us struggle with this.

 

In kid’s worship, when we have communion time, the question is asked weekly why we take the bread and the juice.  The overwhelming answer is “to remember.”  And that’s the reason.  Way back in the book of Exodus, we see the Lord giving Moses and his fellow Israelites instructions on the Passover meal.  This meal was to be eaten on a specific evening as the “death angel” made his way through Egypt.  The blood of the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for this specific meal, was to be painted around the door frame of each house.  As the angel of God passed through the area, He would pass over those houses covered by the blood…saving that house from pain and heartache.  God also instructed to the Israelites that this meal, this ceremony, would be a lasting ordinance practiced regularly.  Why?  To never forget about what God did.

 

Many years later, Jesus is about to experience this meal and ceremony with His friends in an upper room in Jerusalem.  Mark 14 records this event.  During the meal, that was specially prepared as the Lord commanded in the book of Exodus, Jesus picks up some bread and some wine, blesses them, and calls for the disciples to remember Him now whenever they experience this meal.  Why?  Because He didn’t want them to forget what was about to happen.  He was about to become the perfect lamb sacrificed for us.  His blood would now cover us from the consequence of sin.

 

Another question that we always ask in kid’s worship at our church is this, “Who remembered Jesus every minute of last week?”  A couple well meaning kids often raise their hands.  They want to be able to do this because they instinctively know it’s the right thing to do…to remember Jesus.  But the truth is the truth.  None of us think about Jesus and His love and His grace every minute of every day.  We’re forgetful.  However, we’ve been given a gift.  The book of Acts record that the new Christians met regularly remembering Jesus and His sacrifice for their souls.

 

So the question is this.  Do we remember?  Do we take time on a regular basis to remember Him?  It doesn’t matter how a specific church family does this, the point is to remember.  Weeks after the horrific events of 9-11, bumper stickers and posters and banners and buttons started popping up everywhere across our country.  Remember what they said?  Never Forget!  We are called to never forget our Jesus, His sacrifice, and the redemption that He freely offers us.

 

Deuteronomy 6:12 “…be careful that you do not forget the Lord.”

 

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

ed

 

Questions for Growth:

  • Have you remembered Jesus every minute since last week?  Ok, that’s a question to center us.
  • Since we forget about Jesus, our very Creator, controller of the universe, able to make the sun stand still and judge our very soul, what do we do to help us remember?  What can we do?  Read Deuteronomy 6:1-12.
  • If we were to remember Jesus more often, how would that change our lives…our choices…our words?
  • Should we simply pass this off as forgetfulness?  Or should we be proactive?  Eternity hangs in the balance…maybe remembering that will helps us…remember.
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