Summary: The Communion Meal Series: The Sacraments August 6, 2013 – Brad Bailey
The Communion Meal
Series: The Sacraments
August 6, 2013 – Brad Bailey
Identity is powerful. Identity may be the most powerful force in our lives…and yet the most unrooted.
We tend to live out of some combination of who we have been… are expected to be… want to be… and should be.
And I have found two things to be true… in the work of God.
Nothing has been more powerful in the deepest places than the love of God. And… secondly… it is hard to stay rooted in that love.
Many of us have experienced something of the love of God… God wants a relationship… even the reality that God has extended his hand of covenant. And that relationship is at the very root of our existence. But we may find it hard to stay rooted in that reality.
God knows this. Jesus knows this.
Today we are going to begin two weeks of engaging that which roots us in union with God… that is what are often referred to as the sacraments.
The word “sacrament”… refers to that which is sacred.
Think of what the temple had been in the life of Israel… that sacred space….where a union with God is made possible… a potential that is always established by God. 
It is not that which we create…but that which God creates… and ordains… which is why these sacraments are also referred to as ordinances… because they are recognized as ordained by God. 
In particular…we are engaging the two main sacraments recognized across the historic church… that of Baptism and Communion …or The Lord’s Supper.
They are indeed… a profound sign and symbol of covenant…. which God had ordained.
They are connected to something ultimate… the very nature of actual life… life with God.…in ways which are far more profound and powerful than we tend to grasp.
My wife and I recently celebrated the anniversary of our marriage… that which we embraced as a covenant… it began on the day of our wedding… much like a baptism… public… but is then continually remembered….on anniversaries among other times. In a similar way…
Baptism demonstrates our initial identification with Christ and His church.
Communion (The Lord’s Supper) celebrates our continual identification with Christ and His church.
Today… we are going to engage the sacrament of Communion and next week baptism.
In what we know now as “The Last Supper,” Jesus shared the Passover meal with his closest followers on the night he was betrayed. 
At that meal, Jesus taught his disciples that the Passover was a sign that pointed to Him. He was the spotless lamb whose body would be broken and whose blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The Apostle Paul also wrote about this to the early church,
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.
27 So then, 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 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
What we see is that Jesus instituted that which would be understood as the central act of Christian worship.
Jesus began by giving a prayer of thanks… and that is why many refer to this as The Eucharist …from the Greek eucharistia for “thanksgiving.”
It is often referred to as the Lord’s Supper… because it was initiated by the Lord… by Jesus himself.