Communion Meditation

The Table that Unites

The Table that Unites

What is the Lord’s Table but a family gathering? When we eat and drink together we are eating and drinking the Gospel that unites us with one another in the past, present, and future. This Gospel transcends time. It is that which brings us together. We are forming a great cloud of witness to God and to the world, and the more we eat and drink together the greater the cloud becomes. And when that cloud becomes a cloud of victory over the whole world, which sight cannot be denied by the world, Christ will return and gather this great cloud into everlasting life.

What we are doing at this table is a clear picture of what is being formed in the world—a communion of saints marching and warring against principalities and powers rejoicing and proclaiming the Lord who has made us one.

The Sacraments: True, Good, and Beautiful

The Sacraments: True, Good, and Beautiful

What does the Lord’s Supper mean for us as a people? It means so much to the partaker that we could spend a thousand years and yet not fully cover its wonder and splendor. The reason the Lord’s Table says so much to the people of God is because it is given by our Lord. This is not a Reformed table, it is the Lord’s Table, and it is an open table to all baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And as an open table, it communicates all that is true about Christ—his power, his grace, and his mercy; it is communicates all that is good about Christ—his provision, his desire to complete the work He started in us; and it communicates the beauty of Christ—his majesty, his love for His saints.

The Lord’s Table means that Christ is true to His promises, good to His people, and lovely to those who put their trust in Him.

So, come and dine, infant and aged, weak and strong, this table is true, good, and beautiful, and the Lord invites us to join in this meal!

Time to Eat

Time to Eat

“Come and have breakfast.”

My P.E. teacher in college always stressed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” I confess I have not followed those words too well.

What Christ established for us in that simple breakfast was a type of what he would convey before His ascension. A new day, a new meal, a new world. That’s the slogan of the New Covenant.  And this is where we are gathered. Here we are in this new day, called the Lord’s Day; the day set aside by God for his people to come and gather and worship. A new meal: a glorified feast to partake of the One who is our bread and our wine. A new creation: the celebration of God’s people in a world where death is no longer king, but is a slave to the king of life, Jesus Christ. This risen King says to us, “come and eat.” The fire of the Spirit is here. Come and find warmth in Me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Come and eat!

The Meal and Community

The Meal and Community

“The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”

Adam’s acceptance of Eve’s role reverses his rejection of his wife earlier. He chose to restore community with his wife, rather than pursue the game of blame. The pain endured by all the women in the Old Covenant came to an end in the last Eve of the Old Covenant, Mary. Eve, then, is the mother of all living. She is the mother of life and from that life, Jesus, life is given to all those united to him.

This morning it is the Supper that restores community. The meal Adam and Eve shared at the Tree of Knowledge destroyed their community, even though it had the outward marks of community. The meal we share with Jesus restores all true community in the bond of the Spirit. This meal is an affirmation that the Seed of the Woman is our life.

Do you love Jesus? An Eucharistic invitation

Do you love Jesus? An Eucharistic invitation

“Because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8)

The worth of knowing Messiah as Lord is greater than any human deed. Nothing is compared to this relational, covenantal union we have with our Lord.

This reminds me of the story my mentor once told me of a bright seminary graduate who came before examination by the examining committee. He sat there at his desk full of confidence. His Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible were wide open. He had passed his written exams with flying colors. The entire presbytery was eager to hear this genius relate the glories of theology in intricate ways. The examination began when an old seminary professor who was about to retire looked at the candidate and asked: “Young man, do you love Jesus?” Silence. More silence. Now the young scholar’s face turned into every imaginable color. Then more silence.

The old professor looked to the head of the examining committee and proposed that the examination be terminated and that the young man return again in six months. All agreed.

Brothers and sisters, as you come to eat and drink with one another, do not allow that simple question to be answered by your silence. Come and dine that your answer might be strengthened and not silenced.

Dining with the Prophet

Dining with the Prophet

…the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have goo news preached to them (Mat. 11:5).

The prophet of the New World is here and his name is Jesus, the Christ. The prophet bids us come and dine with him.

He gives us a table of certainty. Here Christ gives himself for his sheep. Here we see clearly more so than our first century forefathers that the Son of God brings a kingdom that shall have no end. But beyond that, this table is for us a memorial of mercy. It was nothing but the grace of God that caused the hand of God to extend us mercy rather than doom. We are recipients of the body and blood of Jesus not because of our loveliness, but because Christ in the incarnation of love willingly gave of himself to us. We have received the objective pardon from the true prophet of Israel, and that pardon comes through death and resurrection. Let us dine with One who gave us sight, made us to walk into newness of life, cleansed us by the washing of water and word, gave us ears to hear, raised us from the dead, and preaches good news to us.

Table of Repentance

Table of Repentance

Brothers and Sisters, the exhortation to repentance is clear enough. Repenting is your duty and your life. This is why this is a table for repentant people. It is for those who find refuge in Jesus and who love to be near him and who make their paths straight, so He may come and dwell with them. This is not a table for the religiously proud , but for those who have found rest in the Messiah who came, comes, and will come again.

Christ is with us and He calls to eat his flesh and drink His blood as a memorial unto Him. We are reminding God in this mean that He has promised to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and He remembers.  The King is calling: come, eat and drink repentant people of God.

It’s all about table manners!

It’s all about table manners!

What differentiates us from the beasts of the field? I would say one distinguishing feature is table manners. There is a certain etiquette at the table that we as baptized humans are expected to have that animals are not. Even our little ones are expected to develop their table manners. Our little ones move from a high chair to a table chair when they are able to eat without smearing tomato sauce in their hair. Learning table manners is part of learning the language of the body.

This table– though open to all baptized adults and infants– is not a buffet where you can grab and eat whatever you want whenever you want; this table is a civilized table. It is a table with manners. Here we eat and drink with other image-bearers. This means we are patient, gentle, kind, and loving toward our neighbor. The wine that spills from the shaky hands of our little ones is a sign that God is growing our congregation and teaching us table manners. This is our Lord’s table and Jesus loves to see little ones learning to eat and drink. We must be reminded this morning that in so many ways we are like them. Though our outward manners reveal stable hands when we grab our forks, inside we can at times be clumsy; overly confident; self-assured; pursuing selfish ambitions.

If you come to the table too certain of your table manners, then you might be the type of people that Paul constantly criticizes. But if you come to this table too certain of the Christ who died for you, then you come as those found worthy to eat with the Master of the house. And what is the basis of good table manners: Christ. Is Christ gain for you in life or in death, as it was for Paul? If he is, then prepare your lips to taste bread and wine, and prepare to share a meal with fellow brothers and sisters who are learning day by day what good table manners look like.

Sacramental Meditation: An Objective Meal

What we experience in this pluralistic culture is the death of objectivity. But in a world created by God and glorified by Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, we can say that this food is for us in an objective way; in a way that truly does accomplish its purpose. What does this meal do? It gives grace to those who eat and drink by faith, it encourages the broken-hearted, it offers hope to the doubter, and it strengthens the saint.

This is the objective reality given to us by an objective Christ; the only true Lord of history and the one who always provides for his children.

Sacramental Meditation for Trinity Sunday

The God who is Three and One gives us Bread and Wine in the midst of the congregation. The Oneness of this local body is joined with the Many bodies worldwide forming the glorious body of Christ. We eat and drink as the one and the many.

As we eat and drink, remember our oneness in Christ, but also remember our diversity. We are not robots made the same way with the same personalities, rather we are image-bearers, or better, worshiping humanity, made differently, but one purpose: exalting the God who is One and Three and Three and One.