Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Bread and Wine or Body and Blood?

This Sunday is week three of our series on the Lord’s Supper.  We explored Jesus claim, “I am the bread of life!” and his invitation to a filling of our hunger and a quenching of our thirst.  We peered into the early church of Corinth and grappled with Paul’s teaching about the ‘how’ we celebrate communion that brings honor or dishonor to the celebration.

This week, we dive into the words of Jesus as he presents a challenging reality, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you.”  What does that mean?  For certain, this became a big hurdle for those who heard this teaching to overcome as many who followed Jesus up to this point in his ministry turned away.

Part of the problem for Jesus hearers is that they had deep traditions that included the Passover feast.  And Jesus was turning their understandings of this celebration and the sacrificial system upside down.  Jesus essentially challenges their complete understanding of this central feast of their Jewish identity.

We will unpack this teaching and look at the Christian churches understanding of this  We will also dive into how this carries over into our celebration of the Lord’s Supper today and finally, celebrate communion together!

Can’t wait,  see you Sunday if not before,

Pastor Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

I AM The Bread of Life!

2019!  We are kicking off the year together with a series on Communion: The Lord’s Supper.  We will be looking at the Lord’s Supper from several different angles:

  • Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life!” (John 6:25-51)
  • Discerning the Body – Potential Abuses of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)
  • Bread or Wine or Body and Blood? (John 6:53-70)
  • The Cross: Power or Weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

The Lord’s Supper has been a central sacrament of the church of Jesus Christ for centuries.  What do we believe about this sacrament and how does it affect our life together?  These are important questions with beautiful outcomes for our living together.  Getting ready for the journey into this beautiful sacrament that God has given us.

Beginning in February, we will begin a series through the 10 commandments.  One a week for 10 weeks!  This too, I look forward too with anticipation.  We tend to look at the commandments with singularity and with negative instruction.  “You shall not kill” for example is seen as a singular negative command: “Do not take another person’s life.”  Yet, the commandments are better understood in the ‘scope of life’ that the command covers.

I think of each command as a bullseye on a target.  Its the center of the command.  And the rings that echo out from the bullseye are like ripples on pond after a rock (the central command) is thrown into the water.  For example, ‘You shall not kill’ also intends the positive, ‘Do all you can for your neighbors good’ and ‘do not say anything insulting about your neighbor.’  These are ripples on the pond, rings around the bullseye, that fit within the scope of the command.

This should be ‘fun’ exploring the ramifications of these 10 commands.  We have some catchy titles each week for this series, such as, ‘Honoring Authority in an Age of Disrespect’ (You shall honor your Father and your Mother) and ‘Fearing God in a Permissive World’ (You shall not commit adultery).  How does each of these commands of God increase our flourishing?  Looking forward –

In the name of Jesus and for God’s glory,
Pastor Mark