Summary: As people of the chalice, Disciples of Christ come together each Sunday to commune in perfect harmony together and with our Risen Lord to be empowered by His Holy Spirit. Discover with us the mystical action of God’s Holy Spirit in the life of His church
People of the Chalice
Matthew 26: 26-29
Priscilla Larson, of Lexington, Massachusetts, tells of the time her brother-in-law (a preacher) had been away from home one afternoon donating his blood at the Red Cross.
The preacher’s son was a little concerned when his father didn’t come home by the time he usually did, and the boy asked his mother, “Is Dad going around visiting all the sick people?”
His mother replied, “No honey, he’s giving blood.”
He paused in thought for a moment and then said: “But we know it’s really grape juice, don’t we Mom?”
APPLICATION: As Disciples of Christ we’re people of the chalice. Every Sunday we come to worship and in Christian fellowship we gather at this table to partake of the Lord’s Supper as it was commanded of us so long ago. The weekly Eucharistic experience is what makes the Disciples of Christ unique, among mainline Protestant denominations, yet rarely will you hear sermons about it I don’t know about you, but that bothers me.
So on this beautiful Sunday morning when our two families have come together to celebrate our Lord’s presence in His church, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on Communion and what it should mean for all of us.
POWER IN SMALL THINGS: I think its kind of cool how God uses the small, simple things of life to demonstrate his power. Like the preacher’s kid who associated blood with grape juice, the idea of using grape juice each Sunday should help us remember that it was through Christ’s blood that we are washed and completely cleansed by our sins. It is also by partaking of the bread that we remember that Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. When we eat of this bread, which represents His flesh, we will live forever.
Jesus Himself gave us two commands, two ordinances that we must do – Baptism and Communion. Both baptism and communion are vital to our cleansing, reconciliation, and healing. Jesus calls us to commune with Him and with each other because HE KNOWS WE NEED IT! Otherwise He wouldn’t have commanded us to do it. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?
Yes it is, but unfortunately many folks believe that they shouldn’t commune because they aren’t worthy.
ILLUSTRATION: The story was told about the Scottish Theologian John Duncan of New College in Edinburgh. At communion one Sunday, when the elements came to a sixteen-year-old, she suddenly turned her head aside. She motioned for the deacon to take the cup away, that she couldn’t drink it.
Well, Duncan reached his long arm over to her, touched her shoulder and said to her, “Take, lassie, it’s for sinners.”
APPLICATION: You and I know all of this. Communion is for all Christians who are in the process of being perfected in Jesus Christ. It is the food that sustains us until His second coming. The question is, do we really believe this?
OBEDIENCE: Did you know that this isn’t just a New Testament concept, but an Old Testament concept as well? It is said that in the Old testament God placed His wrath not on individuals but on nations. On the other hand, His deep desire to heal and love always reached out to individuals. Sometimes they would listen to God and were obedient to what He commanded them for their own good, other times they didn’t and they were the worse for it.
THE STORY OF NAAMAN AND ELISHA: Turn with me to 2 Kings 5 and let’s read this together:
Na’aman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little maid from the land of Israel, and she waited on Na’aman’s wife.
She said to her mistress, "Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Sama’ria! He would cure him of his leprosy."
So Na’aman went in and told his lord, "Thus and so spoke the maiden from the land of Israel."
And the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten festal garments.
And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Na’aman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy."
And when the king of Israel read the letter, he rent his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me."