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Our Common Sense of Belonging

Someone has observed that "We live by signs". Any dad who travels with his family is all too aware of this when he tries to "sneak by" an exit ramp trying to make "one more town before night fall". The kids may be reading, sleeping, or playing some kind of game completely oblivious to what's going on or going by outside the car. Then in a most mysterious, almost spooky sort of way, their heads pop up just as dad passes a sign displaying the "Golden Arches". Now dad has a choice to make: He can peal off the interstate and head for McBurger Land, or he can play "family feud" for the next 30 miles.

Signs. Symbols: of an unseen reality: A frown or a smile: Signs of what's going on in someone's heart. A wedding ring: Symbol of a pledge or commitment. Usually signs or symbols point to a much greater reality than may first be apparent to the observer. Take this tiny rock. How much is it worth? What am I bid? $10? $25? How about $100? Would you lay down your life for this rock, or what it represents? Now you are thinking "Too bad! The pastor's gone around the bend!" Now wait a minute! People have died over this rock, at least the greater reality which it represents. For you see, this little piece of rock, is a piece of the Berlin Wall!

Signs. Symbols: of grapes and wheat. Juice and Bread. Two symbols of a greater reality. The setting for the Lord's Supper: Here was the celebration of the greatest historical event in Jewish history. Down through the centuries the Jewish people had gathered in their family units each year to celebrate the Passover meal: To tell and tell again the story of God's deliverance (Exodus 12). Every father knew it by heart for he had learned it from his father in the wonder of his childhood, and his father had learned it from his father etc. It was a story that could be seen, heard, touched, smelled, tasted. It was a story that impressed itself on one's whole being. "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance," Moses had told the people, "And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' tell them, 'It is the Passover Sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians;" (Exodus 12: 24, 26, 27). (And I want to tell you folks, it is the Blood of Jesus which will spare our homes today).

The Last Supper: A night to remember.

Mark writes: "When evening came, Jesus arrived with the twelve: (Mark 14:17) Luke quotes Jesus as saying: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer": (Luke 22:15). A startling announcement. "I tell you the truth," Jesus said, "one of you will betray me." Jesus is an examiner of the heart. He knows what's going on down inside of us. For the disciples it was a time of self-examination. Mark writes: "They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, 'Surely not I?'" And so it is the same with the Lord's Supper today: a time to examine our hearts before the Lord.

The broken bread: "Take and eat; this is my body," then He took the cup and said, "This is my blood of the (new) covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Jesus became the "Lamb of God" sacrificed in our behalf for the forgiveness of sins.

Signs & Symbols: Bread and wine, symbols of a great reality. This is the Feast of the Believer. No matter where you live or what language you speak, there is a common understanding of all, when you take the Bread and the Cup, you make a great global statement that the Blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin, and unites us together in Him. Through sight, and sound, and taste and touch and smell when we share on this day, that common sense of belonging to Christ. Let us share this experience together and never forget!

Until Next Time,

Pastor Joe Elick 1



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