bits from bob....
Today the people of God around the world assemble as a grand Christian community and declare His praise and virtue. God is acknowledged and recognized-songs of praise exalt him, his purpose, his wisdom, his compassion, and his love demonstrated in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The church speaks to God and listens to God. We listen in the word read and preached. The Christian community seeks his will for the coming week; remind us what God wants from us. Remind us of our glory, our potential, our responsibility. Remind us of our capacity because of his presence among us and within us. Refresh our commitment to his cause and his work-generate within us renewed strength so that we go forth restored and whole resonating with his presence in our hearts and lives.
A significant part of the weekly assembly for the first century church was the opportunity to "break bread". This biblical phrase refers both to fellowship meals, sometimes called "love feasts", and also to the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper or communion. The church assembles to remember and give thanks to God in the Supper.
When I lead God's people in thoughts and prayers to prepare minds and hearts for the Supper, I constantly search for fresh words and translations. Consider the first few verses of Romans 5.
Time does not permit a complete treatment of this text, so I call attention to only a few concepts.
As described in the next chapter of Romans, the continual poured out love of the Spirit is only possible because of our transition from enemies to friends. The text of Romans 5 does not apply to those who continue to live as enemies of God. That we are now friends of God is shown by the fact that we do with our lives what he did with his life. We participate in his activities. We attend his parties. He is our hero-we imitate him. We participate in his death (through baptism) so that we will participate in his glory. The hope of his glory in the text of chapter 5 is made reality as we are assured of participation in his resurrection-both in renewed lives here on earth, and also in the ultimate resurrection at that final day.
PRAYER FOR BREAD
The approval God grants is not random; it is not fleeting. The foundation of this approval is firm; God has acted in Christ, we have reacted, God continues to bless. Approval, peace, hope love-these we celebrate today as we eat this Supper together.
PRAYER FOR CUP