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    ThuThursdayAugAugust31st2017 Take, Eat; This is My Body.

    If someone in front you in a cafeteria line reached over, picked up a loaf of bread, handed it to you, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt 26:26), wouldn’t you think him a bit daft? I suspect two questions would immediately come to your mind: “Does he really believe that the bread really is his body?” and, “Why is he telling me this?”

    Our church teaches when Jesus broke bread with his disciples the night he was betrayed, the bread in his hands was not really his body and when we partake of the bread today at the Lord’s Supper, his body is not present in the bread, actually, really, or spiritually. The bread is a symbol of his body, broken for us.


    As for why Jesus is telling us that the bread is his body, Jesus himself supplies the answer: “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19).


    A third, very practical, question comes to mind: What exactly are we to remember? I can think of two initial answers. First, we are to remember that he died for us. His body was given for us. Second, he is coming again: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26) A third answer comes to mind but it will take a bit of explanation.


    Look closely at what he said: “This [the bread] is my body… take and eat it [the bread/his body]… Do this [the eating] in remembrance of me.” The eating itself is the remembrance. Of course, we should not just “go through the motions”, as if the eating itself has merit if our minds are elsewhere. But he didn’t say, “Eat something, whatever you want, and think about me.” He called the bread his body and then commanded us to eat it, not anything else, and eat it in remembrance of him, not eat it and remember him. But why would eating bread be a remembrance?


    The answer is right in front us: Eating the bread is a remembrance because the bread is a symbol of Jesus and especially his body broken for us. When we eat the bread, we are eating his body symbolically.” Dare I say that we are pretending to eat his body?


    This “pretending” is important: It’s not child’s play and, as long as everyone understands that we are pretending, it’s not lying. We watch people pretend every time we go to a play or movie. When a couple renews their vows, they are pretending they are getting married for the first time. Hobbyists and historians re-enact great battles or great speeches. The pretending helps strengthen our experience and our thinking. The point is this:  Jesus wants us to think “I am eating his body” when we partake of the bread.


    It’s a symbol, but what a potent symbol! “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) He nourishes us, he strengthens us, he refreshes us, we can’t go a day without him, we enjoy him. All that is symbolized when we eat the bread. Think about these things the next time and each time you partake of the Lord’s Supper: he died for us, he’s coming again, and he is our bread of life!


    Dan has written two previous Elder Blog posts about communion, you can read them here:
    ThuThursdayAprApril7th2016 Covenants and Their Signs
    byDan Dillon Tagged Church Covenant Lord's Supper 0 comments Add comment

    What does it mean when someone says, “You need to have a personal relationship with Jesus?” Do they mean we should have an emotional relationship with Jesus? An intimate relationship? A relationship from the heart and not just of external observance? Or is it is just another way to say, “You need to be saved”? It’s not always clear to me. Plus, the phrase “personal relationship” is not in the Bible. Is there a better way to talk about our relationship with Jesus?

    How about “You need to have a covenant relationship with Jesus”? God made a covenant with Abraham and his offspring (Gen. 17). When Israel was enslaved in Egypt, God remembered his covenant with Abraham (Ex. 2:24). When the future of Israel looked bleak, God promised that he would make a new covenant with his people (Jer. 31:31-34). And Jesus is the new covenant (Heb. 8:6-12)!

    But what is a covenant? Wayne Grudem defines it as, “An unchangeable, divinely imposed legal agreement between God and man that stipulates the conditions of their relationship.” “Legal” is not the best word, because a “covenant” is not just a contract, like buying your house or ordering parts for your business. Contracts are typically limited in scope and duration. A covenant is a comprehensive, continuous commitment. That commitment creates intimacy. When God creates a covenant and says, I will be your God, he is committing himself to us. In return, he expects us to commit ourselves to him: You will be my people (Heb. 8:10). What an awesome God we serve!

    Covenants have signs: ceremonies to initiate and remember the covenant. Married couples use rings as signs of the marriage covenant. Circumcision was the sign of initiating the Old Covenant. The various ceremonies, especially Passover, were ways to remember the Old Covenant. What are the New Covenant signs?

    In a previous blog post, we established that Baptism and Communion are ceremonies: things that we do as a church that do not fit neatly into a two-part theology of “Believe this; now demonstrate your belief by giving yourself over to good works”. Their significance lies in the fact that they are ceremonial signs of the covenant: Baptism is the initiating sign of the covenant; Communion is sign by which we remember the covenant. Jesus is quite explicit about the connection between Communion and covenant: “[F]or this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:28)

    Let’s end with a practical question: How important is it to regularly participate in Communion? To answer the question, imagine this: What happens when a man forgets his anniversary? Does not his wife wonder, “Has he not been looking forward to this day, planning for it? Has his love grown cold?” When someone neglects the signs of the covenant, we begin to wonder about their commitment to the covenant.

    Do you get excited about participating in Communion? We occasionally offer it Sunday morning, but regularly offer it at Family Gathering. If you’re not in the habit of attending Family Gathering, one way that you can grow in your commitment to your covenant relationship with Jesus is by making this time a regular part of your monthly schedule. It breaks my heart that only about half the church attends Family Gathering when we offer Communion. Attending Family Gathering in the evening takes a bit of extra effort to attend, but not a great deal of strenuous effort. Participating in Communion is a God-ordained (God-commanded!) way of rejoicing, remembering and recommitting to our Lord as an assembled church. We should be eager to do that any time we have the opportunity.

    ThuThursdayOctOctober4th2012 Come for Supper


    Imagine Mrs. Romney texting Mrs. Obama this message: “M’s home tonight, why don’t you and B come over for supper?” In addition to all the obvious reasons, this would not happen because parties actively opposing one another are not expected to seek or enjoy each other’s presence. Coming over for supper is loaded with meaning most of which has nothing to do with food.

    Jesus commanded (a rather compelling invitation) his followers to come to supper. At times I find myself deeply concerned that many of our church family miss out on the blessings of participation in the Lord’s Supper. At times a lack of planning or effort on my part may cause the time at the Table to seem like a less than thoughtful tack-on at the end of a meeting. Some may view participation as a simple or sterile function of obediently downing a tasteless cracker and some juice. Let’s consider in a fresh manner why the Lord Jesus has invited us to supper with him and each other on a regular basis.

    I am currently benefiting from a group of guys who meet on Wednesday mornings early to work our way through Wayne Grudem’s book Bible Doctrine. This week, from the chapter on the Lord’s Supper, we reviewed these 7 benefits or truths that are symbolized and affirmed as we participate at the Table of the Lord.
    1. We symbolize and proclaim the life transforming death of Jesus Christ.
    2. We participate (take) in the benefits of Christ’s death for ourselves.
    3. We receive spiritual nourishment for our hungry and weary souls.
    4. We give clear evidence of our unity with one another.
    5. Christ affirms his love for you.
    6. Christ affirms that all the blessings of salvation are reserved for you.
    7. We affirm our faith in Christ.
    Add to these the opportunity to express our thanksgiving and you begin to see how essential this meal is to maintaining and growing our love for Christ.

    Two take-aways come to mind.

    Our church leadership needs to increase our efforts to schedule, teach, lead, and present the Lord’s Table in clear and compelling ways. It is too easy to allow something so crucial to become routine and done in a less than thoughtful manner. Please pray for us and help us as you are able.

    Second, our church family should elevate their view of the Lord’s Supper in such a way that they joyfully participate whenever called upon to do so. The invitation and announcement of the Lord’s Supper here at KSBC should be an irresistible and attractive ‘come for supper’ for every one of us direct from our Savior himself.

    See you at supper this Sunday at Family Gathering!
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