Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, 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 Email, Uncategorized

The Lord’s Supper: Discerning the Body

Cruising into 2019 and liking the direction of our message this week.  This may be the most ‘exegetical’ message to date!  What that means is that this message dives deep into the cultural context, theology, and language of our text from 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.  We continue in week 2 of our 4 week series on the Lord’s Supper.

In Corinth, the early church was struggling to be a fledgling church that honors Christ in its community life together.  They had lots of challenges from rejecting their pagan past and in embracing their new found community in Christ.  Interesting issues affected their life together in sorting out what it means to not only believe in Jesus but then to live it out faithfully.

Sounds not much different than today.  In Corinth, the early church came together and celebrated the fellowship meal and the Lord’s Supper together.  However, the way they were doing it brought ‘dishonor’ to the body of Christ.  What does that mean and what were they doing that brought judgment on themselves as they ‘eat and drank’ together?  Come Sunday and find out more… and more than that, come and experience the body of Christ!

In Christ, we are set apart, but not alone.  We have the Spirit of Christ and one another.

Pastor Mark

 

Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, 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