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Summary: A parable of communion

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Come to the Table

Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 11:23-29

INTRO: Once upon a time:

there was a certain young man

who had a nice fast car.

• Picked up a friend for school function,

• En route, driver went a little too fast, lost control

• Car careened off road into tree;

• driver survived, friend died

• At funeral, boy who’d been driving sobbed in his

father’s friend’s arm:: “I killed your son!”

• Father spoke words of pardon to the boy,

and showed it--by inviting his son’s friend to

regular dinners

• And the boy who had been driving never took a bite at any of those dinners without remembering his friend . . . & being awed at the father’s goodness.

We are about to do much the same thing this am:

• Though our sins caused the death of God’s son,

• He not only pardons us, but spreads a table before us and invites us to eat and, in so doing, remember his Son’s death.

• And we ought never to partake w/o remembering our Savior’s death and being awed at the father’s goodness.

LISTEN to 1 Cor. 11:23:

23 ¶ For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

[HOLD UP BREAD]

About to take part in an ancient ceremony, one which is celebrated daily around the world by all kinds and colors of people in obedience to Christ’s command to “do this in remembrance of me."

Reason for the bread:

1. Nearly every detail of the Passover/Pesach meal was symbolic; the bread, as Jesus explained in upper room, represents his body.

2. He said,

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35).

3. The breaking [BREAK LOAF] symbolizes the breaking of Jesus’ body on Calvary

Reason for the juice:

1. Again, dates to Pesach

2. As the blood of a sacrificial animal was sprinkled in the doorways of the Hebrews on the night of the first Passover so that they would escape the angel of death, this juice symbolizes Jesus’ blood while hanging on the cross which delivers us from sin and death. One was how sin was atoned for in the Old Covenant, the other is how it is once and for all atoned for in the New Covenant.

3. The drinking symbolizes our unity with him; the juice enters our bodies much as He has.

But read on:

27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

Thus, I encourage you to use these moments for 3 purposes:

1. Examination (examine yourself--whether you are in the Lord, that is, have you been transformed by through and through by faith in Christ? And is there any unconfessed sin in your heart?)

2. Confession & Forgiveness (Jas 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other) Therefore, seek forgiveness of God and of anyone you’ve wronged; and you, when someone has confessed to you, say: “I tell you, in the name of Jesus, you are forgiven”

3. Acceptance (“Accept one another. . .just as Christ accepted you” Rom. 15:7).

Instructions:

All rise. . .

In just a moment, I’ll ask one person at each table to:

• Take the loaf from the center

• Break it

• Hand the larger piece to another person, saying: “This is the Body of Christ, broken for you.” But don’t eat the bread yet.

• That person then does the same, until everyone at the table has a piece of bread

• The person who took the bread from the table then takes one of the cups, and hands it to another person at the table, saying, “This is the Blood of Christ, shed for you.” But don’t drink yet.

• After everyone has bread and cup, then you may prayerfully eat and drink:

--singly, if you desire a private time of communion with God alone,

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