Summary: Who is God asking you to help come to Him?
Some of the most humorous and enlightening moments in our lives center around eating and drinking.
Take for instance the interaction between a pastor and young boy in a certain congregation. It seems this particular congregation loved good fellowship and always served coffee after the sermon. One Sunday the pastor asks a little boy if he knew why they served the coffee. "I think," said the boy, "it’s to get the people awake before they drive home."
Or the one about Joe who had been away from his family for two weeks and was lonely. As he sat down in a little cafe to eat, the waitress asked, "What would you like?" Joe responded, "I want some lasagna and a few kinds words."
The waitress soon returned with his order, set it in front of him and turned to leave when Joe said, "Say, what about my kind words?" She leaned down to his ear and whispered, "Don’t eat the lasagna."
Eating is not just an important event for health reasons but also for social reasons, and especially this morning, for spiritual reasons.
We have spent five of the past six weeks looking at keys to helping us see and hear God more clearly and therefore develop a more solid relationship with Him.
Our final two keys have an important link with what occurs at the two tables I want us to read about this morning. They are the keys of evangelism and justice.
The first table setting is recording in Luke 22. This chapter contains the story of the Last Supper. We pick up the story at verse 14 and read to verse 23.
(READ THE PASSAGE)
The second table’s story is told at the end of Acts 2 verses 41-42 where we read these words, "Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church - about three thousand in all. They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer."
The climates of these two table settings are different. One is filled with anxiety, stress, anger, and uncertainty. The other is filled with joy, life, laughter, and celebration.
Why the difference? It’s what occurred between the two meals that made the difference.
According the Biblical record, approximately 13 weeks took place between these two meals. And the event or events, which took place between, made, literally, all the difference in the world.
Today, we remember and we celebrate the reality of second chances in our lives. Jesus’ death, resurrection, and return to heaven made possible the second supper, the second meal.
When Pentecost occurred, God’s plan of salvation began to spread out. People heard, in their own language, about God’s forgiveness, about who Jesus was, and why He did what He did. . . . And they believed and accepted the message and were changed! They had new life! They were at the start of something new and wonderful! Life would never be the same again and they were able to share their experience with one another be celebrating communion together.
Communion is both an individual and group experience. We consume the elements
Individually but do so together. The Biblical record suggests that communion is a corporate celebration that is done in the company of one another.
The keys of unity and loyalty that we looked at two weeks ago are two of the final four that deal with the outward, the corporate, the visible ways of seeing and hearing God more clearly.
Communion is an outward expression of commitment to God. It is designed to help us remember why we are here - to jointly share in the experience of remembering Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection and what it means for us - a new way to live.
I would like for us to visualize a table down the center aisle of our sanctuary. It is a long, but simple table. There is food on the table and there are seats on either side of the table. It goes as far as we see. Some of the seats are filled and some are empty. There are people who are coming toward the table and those who are standing around it.
The table represents the Kingdom of God, which includes the church. The filled seats represent those who have made the decision to join His kingdom by follow God through the forgiveness of sins and acceptance of that forgiveness. The unfilled seats represent those who have yet to do that.
Evangelism is about helping people find their place at the table. We can bring them to the table and invite them to sit down. But we cannot make them sit down and join the fellowship at the table. That is the work of the Holy Spirit and the choice of the individual.