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More blogs »Posted on Aug 16 2012
As I begin my first blog my mind runs from all the things that have led me to this church to a topic in this coming Sunday’s sermon. That may be adult ADHD… The thread that runs through all these thoughts is the Lord’s Supper.
The news is full of stories about people who would probably tell me that they don’t need the Lord’s Supper at all, or anything else related to church. Like many people, they evidently felt that they did not need anyone telling them about life, how to live it better, how to avoid some of the things that could go wrong. I’m thinking of a newlywed athlete with his own reality TV show, who is losing all of that because his wife found evidence that he had been cheating on her. An actress who seems to have lost a relationship with her boyfriend with whom she starred in a series of movies because of something that happened with the director of her latest movie. She I really feel sorry for, the media attention on this story has been remarkable, and the part directed at her has been very negative. Her pain must be great.
I think what this should cause in any of us is empathy. Not that we may have done the same things, but that we have all made mistakes, done things we’re ashamed of. We might be wondering “what do I do now that I’ve messed this up?” and “how can I make sure this never happens again?”
Our Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday is: John 6:53-59 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven-not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. — NKJV
“Ick, what is all this about eating flesh and drinking blood? Sounds like something out of a vampire movie!” This is Jesus’ very poetic way of referring to His death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. It is the way by which we are forgiven by God for the things we’ve done wrong. And, I think there’s something more. It’s a very symbolic way of taking Christ into ourselves, so that He is inside us, living through us. There is salvation here. I know that we are saved at the point that we accept Christ in our hearts, but there is something special, evocative, in regularly coming forward and receiving the symbols of His body and blood, the bread and wine. It refreshes me, it renews me.
In the churches I grew up in, we typically shared the Lord’s Supper once a month or once a quarter, and we didn’t call it the Eucharist. In this church, we do it every Sunday, we do call it the Eucharist, and we treat it as if it’s… Holy… Indeed, the church service is built around it. In this way we are reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, of our need to take this into our lives, and we read scriptures that guide us in how to live. Given the two public figures above, “You shall not commit adultery” springs to mind. In this way we strive to make peace with our past, and make progress to a better future. That’s why we do the Lord’s Supper all the time!