Illustration results for communion
Sermon Central Staff
A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
In 1963, my grandfather was serving as the Senior Minister of West End United Methodist Church in Nashville. West End is situated right across the street from Vanderbilt University, and has always been a wealthy, predominately white church.
One communion Sunday, a black family happened to be worshipping at West End, and like the rest of the congregation, they came forward to receive the meal. Without a sidelong thought, my grandfather served them the bread and juice just as he did the rest of the congregation.
Now, as you know, the Southern U.S. in 1963 was caught up in the height of the Civil Rights movement. And as soon as church dismissed that day, the Administrative Board went into a meeting. A few hours later, they called my grandfather into the room, and though my grandfather was greatly liked by all the people of West End, they asked for his immediate resignation because he served communion to blacks. My grandfather told the gathered group that if that was really the way they felt, then he was not the right minister for them anyway. In stunned silence, the members of the board said nothing more. They knew my grandfather was the right pastor for West End at that time, and they knew that he was right.
My grandfather stayed at West End for many more years, and in that time, other blacks came to worship there as well. Here is a light that illumined a darkness of our world.
(From a sermon by Clair Sauer, A Signpost and a Dash of Salt, 2/2/2011)
To again quote Charles Spurgeon:
"It is joy to all nations that Christ is born, the Prince of Peace, the King who rules in righteousness...Beloved, the greatest joy is to those who know Christ as a Saviour...The further you submit yourself to Christ the Lord, the more completely you know Him, the fuller will your happiness become. Surface joy is to those who live where the Saviour is preached; but the great deeps, the great fathomless deeps of solemn joy which glisten and sparkle with delight, are for such as know the Saviour, obey the Anointed One, and have communion with the Lord Himself...you will never know the fullness of the joy which Jesus brings to the soul, unless under the power of the Holy Spirit you take the Lord your Master to be your All in all, and make Him the fountain of your intensest delight."
(From a sermon by Todd Leupold "Joy To The World" 12/21/2008)
CLOSING STORY: “On Courage”
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named
Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a
blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and
had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her
little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate
for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, ‘Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.’
“As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing
the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the
doctor and asked with a trembling voice, ‘Will I start to die right away?’
“Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
(Chicken Soup for the Soul)
This story so beautifully illustrates for us the extravagant love of God.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).
JESUS DIED FOR MARY TOO--Communion Meditation
Mark Lowry, a Christian comedian observed that Mary’s silence at the cross always amazed him. If he were being crucified in the middle of town, his mother would have "Pitched a fit", but Mary never said a word. Lowry wondered if maybe what made the difference for her was remembering back to that 1st Christmas. Remembering touching his little hands and feet and counting his fingers and toes.
On a serious note, Lowry says:
"I wonder if she realized then that those were the same fingers that
had scooped out the oceans and formed the seas.
Mary probably counted those little toes- I wonder if she realized
that those were the same feet that had walked on streets of gold and
had been worshipped by angels.
Those little lips were the same lips that had spoken the world into
When Mary kissed her little baby, she wasn’t just kissing another baby - she was kissing the face of God.
33 years later she’s standing on a hillside watching blood pour from His veins, from the side of her own son... and she didn’t open her mouth. What a great testimony to the fact that
In Eastern lands, people used public baths and got dressed again; as they walked in the dusty streets, their feet became dirty. On arriving home, they did not need another bath; they needed only to wash their feet. When the Jewish priests were ordained, they were washed all over (Ex. 29:4), which pictures our once-for-all cleansing; but God also provided the laver (Ex. 30:17–21) for them to use in the daily washing of their hands and feet.
Application: So it is with the believer. When we are saved, we are washed all over. Paul put it this way, “[God] saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5–6). At Baptism, we were thoroughly washed and robed in Christ’s righteousness. When we confess our daily sins to the Lord, we have our feet washed and our “walk” is cleansed. Christ’s Spirit washes His church with Baptismal water through the Word (Eph. 5:25–26). As we daily read the Word and confess our sins, the Spirit cleanses our souls and guides us. It is this daily cleansing of the Spirit that keeps the believer in communion with Christ.
"The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus.”
Sermon Central Staff
WHO NEEDS THE CHURCH?
Mark Driscoll stated this about the importance of the church in a person’s life and how he discovered that truth:
"Occasionally, I would drop in to church out of guilt, but always walked away feeling as if I’d just wasted an hour with an ex-girlfriend ... simultaneously. I continued reading the Bible and kept seeing that the New Testament was written by pastors of churches to churches about church life. And, I was convicted that there is no such thing as a personal isolated relationship with Jesus apart from His often ugly bride, the Church. Acknowledging my disinterest in the Church as little more than arrogant judging, I decided to seek out a church where I could obey the Scriptures commands to go to church (Hebrews 10:25), place myself under the authority of pastors (Hebrews 13:17), use my abilities to build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12), partake of communion in a church (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), and give my tithe to a church (2 Corinthians 8-9). I was finally starting to realize Jesus died not just for me, but for His church, which I was a part of by His death and resurrection (Acts 20:28). I then had to decide where to go, which was a frightening prospect..."(The Relevant Church, page 23).
(From a sermon by Michael, McCartney, Who Needs the Church? 6/20/2012)
OUR COMFORT, OUR HOPE-- COMMUNION MEDITATION
Recently I came across a true story that happened during the Holocaust of the Second World War.
Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their 2 sons were arrested, together with Rosenburg's mother and father for the crime of being Jews. They were placed in a Nazi concentration camp.
It was a labour camp, and the rules were simple.
"As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you will be exterminated."
Rosenberg watched as his mother and father were marched off to their deaths. He knew that the next would be his youngest son, David - because David had always been a frail child.
Every evening, Rosenberg came back into the barracks after each day of hard labour and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.
One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces.
He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true."
Joshua turned and said, "It is true, Dad. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."
"But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg.
"Oh Dad," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried. So Mum said, 'There is nothing to be afraid of, David,' and she took his hand and went with him."
That illustrates a mother’s love-- a love so strong that it chooses to give up life so her child can be comforted.
This is also a picture of the sacrificial love Jes...
It was related that once when the Duke of Wellington remained to take communion at his parish church, a very poor old man went up to the opposite aisle, and reaching the Communion table, knelt down close by the side of the Duke. (Immediately, tension and commotion interrupted the silence of the church.) Someone came and touched the poor man on the shoulder, and whispered to him to move farther away, or to rise and wait until the Duke had received the bread and the wine.
But the eagle eye and the quick ear of the great commander caught the meaning of that touch and that whisper. He clasped the old man’s hand and held him to prevent his rising; and in a reverential but distinct undertone, the Duke said, "Do not move; we are equal here." (Pulpit Helps 3/91)
THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT--COMMUNION MEDITATION
A few years ago, on "Good Morning, America," Joan Lunden featured some extraordinary gifts you might want to include on your Christmas gift list.
One of them was a Jaguar automobile, the Jaguar 220. If you care to order one of these, go to your Jaguar dealer and put down your $80,000 deposit. Then when the automobile is delivered, you are expected to pay the balance of $507,000. The Jaguar 220 is a $587,000 automobile, and they only make 250 of them a year.
Joan Lunden mentioned that if you were to purchase such an automobile, you might also be interested in a new car wax that promises to give it the ultimate shine. It retails for $3,400 for an 8 ounce can. I guess if you can afford a $587,000 automobile, why not spend $3,400 for car wax?
A third item she mentioned was a $300,000 gold and silver toilet seat inlaid with precious stones. Of course, there were cheaper gifts for those who have everything: an $18,000 frisbee, a $10,000 yoyo, a $12,000 mousetrap, and even a $27,000 pair of sunglasses.
And for the proud grandparent who is wondering what to buy the new grandbaby, how about a $28,000 pacifier?
Such gifts stagger our imagination, don’t they? But they are not indescribable. Only God can give gifts beyond description, and priceless besides. His greatest was the gift of Christ Jesus. At communion, we remember our most precious gift-- the forgiveness that came through the sacrifice of Jesus. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
SOURCE: Melvin Newland, edited by SermonCentral Staff. Citation: 2 Corinthians 9:15.