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Sunday, 27 July 2014

'TABLE ON THE MOVE'

Rev. Juliet Schimpf
By Rev. Juliet Schimpf   

Rev. Juliet Schimpf  is the Minister of 
First Baptist  Church in Perth, Ontario:

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LINK to CFRA broadcast of Sunday, July 27th, 2014) 
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Broadcast Notes:
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'Table on the Move'



Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline  “We who have turned our lives over to Christ need to know how very much he longs to eat with us, to commune with us. He desires a perpetual Eucharistic feast in the inner sanctuary of the heart.” 
St. Maximilian Kolbe:  “If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason:  Holy Communion.”
Let’s pray:
Gracious Father, we thank you that you have given us Communion; indeed, your very blood and your very body, to feast upon. And, today, we pray that we would unpack the glorious mystery of this Devine presence. And, we pray, Lord, that each and every listener today, would be edified by your Word, as it is proclaimed, and encouraged by your Spirit. And, that you would receive all glory from beginning to end. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
PART 1:  THE TABLE AT A WORSHIP SERVICE:                                                       RECONCILIATION WITH GOD

·         Here we focus upon the “Last” Supper and the role of this ritual and its emphasis upon the past.

Matthew 26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”  18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.  20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”  Jesus answered, “You have said so.”  26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke itand 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[a] 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.”

 Peter Enns, Exodus   “The Last Supper teaches that rituals are good, and they are instituted and used by God to 'connect' his people with him. We learn through ritual that the church is not just made up of individuals, but is a corporate body. It is not just about personal salvation, but a group of people, the people of God, who are bound to one another and to the faithful through the generations.” 

 Karl Barth, Deliverance to the Captives  “Holy Communion is offered to all, as surely as the living Jesus Christ is for all, ……….[as all of us are not divided in him, but belong together as brothers and sisters]…… all of us poor sinners, all of us rich through his mercy. Amen.” 

1 Corinthians 11:28  Paul says “let a person examine himself, then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” Examine, inspect, not what you are doing well but where you’re missing ingredients, where you need to confess sin, repent, receive forgiveness, and change. Consider where you are dishonor the Meal, the Body and Blood of Christ.
 John 6:35: 
Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

PART 2:  THE TABLE IN THE HOME                                                                  RECONCILIATION WITH ONE ANOTHER
·         Here we move from the past to the present; from ritual to relationship; from the “Last” Supper to the “Lord’s” Supper.
·         Here we examine the missional aspect of Holy Communion.
“When the Lord’s Supper does not include the call to mission, Wasserman said, it often feels “like nothing more than a memorial of the Last Supper.” Remembering is not the only activity at the Lord’s table, she continued. “We are first and foremost to eat and drink together, to love and serve one another. This is a meal. It happens in the present tense,” Wasserman said.
The Lord’s Supper and the Last Supper are related but not the same, she continued. “The Last Supper only happened once. It is the Lord’s Supper the church has been celebrating ever since,” Wasserman said. When we minimize the community-creating and mission-sending aspects of the Lord’s Supper, she said, “we trade in the rich fullness of the Lord’s Supper for a mere re-enactment of the Last Supper… with our eyes on the crucified Savior we miss the risen Lord.”

ACTS 2:  The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
DAVID FITCH, Prodigal Christianity  “As we sit around this table, we try to practice a “relaxation,” a ceasing of striving, and letting things be as God is using us in each others lives. Let us listen to each other, be “with” one another. We talk and have wonderful conversation tending to each other’s lives. There is much empathy, affirmation, reflection. There’s nothing programmed here. It’s just people talking… Through this “social sacrament” God works to bleed his forgiveness and new life in and through his people into the neighborhood. This is not a program to be implemented. This is a practice to be cultivated … of living life together in Christ for His Mission in the world.”

·         On Sundays, we receive the Lord’s hospitality at His table.

·         Throughout the week, we extend that hospitality into our homes and we extend God’s reconciliation to others.

·         Lydia practised hospitality.  Acts 16: 15 When she [Lydia] and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.


PART 3:  THE TABLE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD:                                          RECONCILIATON WITH THE WORLD
·         Here we focus upon holy communion as “eucharist” (i.e. celebration).  We celebrate the future Kingdom of God.  We take God’s reconciliation to the world at large.
WASSERMAN:  if we have a hard time “getting the Lord’s Supper out of the past and into the present,” Wasserman said, “we have an even harder time imagining ourselves into the future tense.” But the Lord’s Supper also points to the messianic banquet at the end of time, she insisted.  Here the missional connections become really inescapable,” Wasserman continued. “We can hardly take our place at this table without seeing that what we are offered in bread and wine is not only a gracious gift, but a bold, outrageous and persistent call to join the company of God’s people who are doing God’s work in the world towards this great tomorrow,” she said, “the work of evangelism and justice, saving and setting free, prayer and reconciliation and mercy.”
Mother Theresa once said, “When you learn to meet God in the bread and the cup, you can learn to see God in the poor.”

 

Mark 2:13-17 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners:

  13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.  15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 

·         Social relationships are reorganized whenever we take communion.  Miracles happen!  God’s Kingdom is ushered into our midst. 
               
·         LUKE 22: 17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  19And 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.”    20In 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.a 21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.  24A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Find someone, today, in the neighbourhood, and treat them to a meal

God Bless!

Rev. Juliet Schimpf
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To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

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