Summary: "Christmas Carol" style look at the Past, Present, and Future--remembering the birth, the life, the death, and then the ’breath’ of the Risen Christ! Leads well into communion. Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint.
From the Stable to the Table
Formatted Text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation are at:
Not long after Christmas comes the Easter season. We are reminded that Christ was ’born to die.’ Lying in the cradle, within a stable, is the first gift of Christmas, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Over the next 33 years much will happen, leading from the stable to that table upon which the Last Supper was served.
On the front of the communion table are usually found the words, “This do in remembrance of Me.” When we come to observe this ordinance, it should be a time of remembrance of the difference Christ made—past, present, and future. And we don’t need some ghost to escort us, only God’s Word and His Holy Ghost, so that we may remember:
• CHRISTMAS PAST—Remember the Lord’s death
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
-This death was made possible by His birth
There’s something special about little babies…so precious and perfect, so simple and serene. And that paper soft skin, and that smell! To watch a newborn sleep strengthens your soul, and you’d think this little one doesn’t even have a sin nature…and then, “waaahhh!”, and “urp”, and the smell changes drastically, and reality sets in!
Mary’s little Lamb was the first truly spotless lamb. The Old Testament centered on the sacrifice of unblemished lambs. Jesus was to be the “once and for all” Lamb.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
He was God’s gift for our redemption.
Made possible by His birth…
-This death was made meaningful by His life
It was Christmas Past when that tiny gift was presented to the world, and that gift kept on giving as He kept not sinning. Perfect was this Lamb, living the life sinful man could not live. And He saved just as He gave gifts to all who would believe on Him—all who would unwrap God’s gift of the Savior…in Christmases Past!
Jesus desired to have a few last hours with His disciples to instruct them of some last things. This do—was the way of showing forth his death. And His death was made possible by His birth, and made meaningful by His life. He was born to die, that we might live!
-This death was made monumental by His resurrection!
[birth, life, death, then breath!]
He conquered death, hell, and the grave…and so His gift continues giving to us eternally!
• CHRISTMAS PRESENT—Remember the Lord’s steps [and walk in them]
The word “communion” is an action word which means: “fellowship, participate in, share together, have in common.” The observance is not simply keeping a dead memory alive. It is entering into the presence of one who lived, died, was raised from the dead by the power of God, and is alive forevermore. Above all that He is present with us always and is represented here and now—at the table. Christmas should be much more about this table than yonder stable.
Jesus wanted to have communion with His disciples. He wanted them to think often of Him. He wanted them to walk as He walked…and He wants us to, as well.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.
He left us here to continue His work and legacy and He promised in…
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
We are a fellowship of believers. When we sit at the Lord’s table, it is as if we were present with Jesus during that final meal. Most definitely, He is with us.
At the Lord’s table we call to mind the high cost of our salvation. While it is free to us, it cost Christ dearly—His very body and life’s blood.
Sometimes, in the things we do, we don’t show forth His death as much as He requires. Instead, we live for ourselves and often crucify Him anew.
Heb. 10: 28
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing?
Before we finish considering Christmas Present, have you considered what will be your Christmas Present to the One Whose birthday it’s all about? Make sure He gets the best…make sure and spend the most, and make sure the “thoughts that count” are in place today and throughout the season, and beyond!