Summary: All over the world, Christians of various flavors and traditions are focusing on the Lord’s Supper as a central distinctive of our faith. I like that! We are going to focus on Communion today as well! Let’s read from Luke 22 and discover how Jesus inst
Defining Our Community
INTRODUCTION… COMMUNITY DISTINCTIVES (p)
Every group we are a part of has rules, traditions, meanings behind phrases, and reasons for doing what they do when they gather together. These traditions or words make the group unique and give them an identity. Let me share with you some examples:
* Where I went to college, there was a paved circle that went around the main building of campus. It was a tradition that if a guy and girl walked around that circle three times that they would get married. Kind of a silly thing, but it was part of the tradition of the school.
* My sister went to Texas A&M and there the phrase “Gig ‘Em Aggies” is followed by a thumbs up. I have no idea what an Aggie, “gig ‘em” or even a thumbs up has to do with each other, but I am betting that if I went to Texas A&M all of those things would be understood by me.
* When you go into any store on any US Military base, especially overseas, it is customary to show your military ID at the door to get in and is always required when checking out. It is just what you do and an expected rule that is known. No ID, no purchase.
* Apparently, at US Presidential debates, it is customary to argue and argue and get nothing accomplished so that people turn off the debate and wonder what just went on. Well, maybe that is not a tradition and doesn’t fit with this list, but does seem to be a normal tradition.
* Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Masonic Lodge, and other organizations all have traditional ways of using hands to greet one another, salute, communicate, and say pledges. A person would not know the hand signs and has to be taught them once a part of the group.
* Holidays often have these types of traditions… wearing green on St. Patricks Day or eating turkey on Thanksgiving, but someone from another country may not have those traditions. Certainly Christmas traditions vary from country to country and some of them would be unknown to us if we were in their country at Christmas time.
What does all of this mean? My point is that there are groups and holidays and sports teams that have traditions and rituals that make you part of the group. Once you know the tradition, you are more a part of what is going on. Most of the time traditions and rituals have significance and a meaning behind them that are treasured by the people who are in the group.
They mean something specific to the group members.
They identify the values of the group.
They tie the current members to people who have been there before.
This morning, we are going to read a passage where Jesus Christ does something that absolutely defines who we are as Christians. Today is World Communion Sunday. Now that is not a yearly tradition we keep here at NBCC, but it is a worthy one that we are taking part in today. All over the world, Christians of various flavors and traditions are focusing on the Lord’s Supper as a central distinctive of our faith. I like that! We are going to focus on Communion today as well! Let’s read from Luke 22 and discover how Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper and how it makes us a unique and particular community of believers.
READ Luke 22:13-23
“They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him." 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.”