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Summary: This is a Lord’s Supper with a Footwashing Service

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Lord’s Supper - 2005

Song – Above All

“Places in the Heart”, Robert Benton’s Academy Award-winning film about the Depression-era U.S. South, ends on a mystical note. The last scene finds an odd collection of parishioners sharing pews in a church.

Here sits a white peace officer who, in a tragic accident, had been shot to death by a drunken black youth. By him is his young widow, who had been left to rear two children on a broken-down cotton farm. Nearby sits a black beggar-thief-farmer whom Ku Klux Klan terrorists ran out of town. There’s a blind man who eked out a living by caning chairs. Plus a traveling minstrel who’s simple, haunting tunes punctuated this poor world.

The group also includes town leaders who, at night, donned sheets to lead racist attacks. Over here is an elderly woman who died in a tornado. And there’s an adulterous husband and his long-suffering but forgiving wife. And, finally, we see the black youth who was killed by vengeful whites after he had accidentally shot the lawman.

In a compelling benediction, Benton metaphorically unites these characters by having them eat and drink communion wafers and wine, symbols of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Thus this disparate tableau of fellow humans, who never would have come together in any other way, finally shares the peace of God.

We come here tonight to share the peace of God

• A peace made possible by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

• Despite our backgrounds, despite our differences, despite our sins, we all share a common heritage, we have all been washed clean by the saving blood of Jesus Christ

Colossians 1:19-22 (NLT) For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,

• God gave the gift of Himself through Christ

• 20 and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.

• Through the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross everything in heaven and earth has already been reconciled to God

• That’s why the whole creation (Rom 8:19-22) groans in eager anticipation waiting for the Sons of God to be revealed

• 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies,

• We were a bunch of criminals doing our own thing

• separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, 22 yet now he has brought you back as his friends.

• We are not here because we are smarter than anyone else, its because Christ pursued us like the good shepherd goes looking for the lost sheep

• He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body.

• The death penalty we should have paid was paid by Jesus Christ

• As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God,

• That veil was rent from top to bottom granting access to the Holy of Holies to everyone

• Religion with all its accruements was abolished – now it is a personal relationship with God just like it was back in the Garden of Eden - no religion, ritual, no ceremony, just relationship

• and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

• How many of us believe that last sentence?

• Did you sin today? Do you still believe that last sentence?

• How about this one?

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus

• Are you in Christ Jesus? How much condemnation are you under in God’s eyes? None

• How much condemnation are you under in fellow Christian’s eyes?

• Interesting isn’t it

• In that story I read at the beginning an odd group of people are brought together to share the body and the blood of Christ

• We have a murderer, a wife seeking revenge, a thief, a blind man, a musician, town leaders who donned white sheets at night, an elderly woman who died in a tornado, an adulterous husband and a long suffering but forgiving wife

• Finally through the blood of Christ this rag-tag group of human beings share the peace of God

• All of their evil thoughts, all of their evil deeds, every last sin is washed clean in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ

• Is this group any different from us?

• We may not have murdered anyone, but have we gossiped behind someone’s back, had a twinge of hatred, envy or jealously in the last week or even in the last hour

• It doesn’t matter what the sin was, we sit here tonight holy and blameless without a single fault – that is the Good News of the Gospel – the Gospel is good news for sinners

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