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Do This in Remembrance of Me

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-06-03 (화) 21:43 조회 : 1348
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_06-01-2014.pdf (157.4K), Down : 4, 2014-06-03 21:43:41
설교일 : 2014.06.01.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : 1 Corinthians 11:23-27

June 1, 2014

 

‘Do This in Remembrance of Me’

1 Corinthians 11:23-27

 

Rev. Chan Young Jang’s Sermon at KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

1.

Dr. James Cleveland who had served as the president of Duke University first heard of the meaning of communion from his mother when he turned 13 years old. The deep impression he got was so strong that many decades later he liked to share the experience at graduation ceremonies comparing the communion with the loyalty to one’s alma mater. According to him, his mother explained the communion like this: “James, Lord Jesus gave bread and cup to his disciples and asked them to remember him. I am his disciple so I always remember him. For all my life every time I ate and drank at the communion I remembered Lord Jesus. I want to ask you to do the same. Never forget the meaning of the communion, no matter where you are, under whatever circumstance, and remember Jesus and know that he is there with you. Through the communion you will get to meet him and learn his heart.”

 

What an excellent mother! This is the first day of June and many children are graduating or getting promoted to the next level, and what can we advise them about their future? We want our children to receive God’s grace and blessings throughout their lives.

 

There is a very important theological term among the protestant churches and it is ‘the means of grace’. We hope to receive God’s grace by worship, prayers and devotion, and God uses three methods to deliver His grace to us.

 

The first means of receiving grace is through the Proclamation of God’s Word. God reaches out to His people and feeds us His word weekly and daily like the daily ‘manna’.

 

We can meditate on God’s Word individually, and hear the Sunday sermon proclaimed at the altar. Listening to sermons is the best way of receiving God’s grace. Before criticizing any sermon we should have open minds to accept it into our hearts. Without listening to any sermon, soon we are going to be starved of God’s grace.

 

The second means of receiving grace is through the Baptism. The baptism of babies is so important even though the babies at that time do not know what it is about. A baptized baby is certified as a member of God’s family and receives God’s grace without ever trying to get it. The whole community benefits from the baby’s baptism. When an adult is baptized, he or she feels the deep emotion of declaring in front of God, family and congregation that from now on, the new self will only live for Lord Jesus with the help of his grace.

 

The third means of receiving grace is through the Communion, which we will have shortly. The communion in our church is celebrated on the first Sunday of the month, and it is not a rigid or solemn ceremony, but an experience when our heart, mind, soul and spirits are all poured forth to receive God’s grace. Before today’s communion is started, we want to examine the communion and find out what it delivers.

 

 

2.

Let us examine the terminology first. In protestant churches it is called a Communion, ‘Holy Supper’ or ‘Lord’s Supper’, and the Anglican Church calls it the ‘Eucharist’ and the Roman Catholics call it the ‘Mass’, and in general it is called the ‘Holy Communion’.

 

The literal meaning of this Holy Communion is ‘the spiritual fellowship’. With the Apostles’ Creed, we confess that “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints”, and this is that communion.

 

This communion ceremony is performed to be connected to God and Jesus Christ. Despite all our differences we have become one family by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We keep this in our memory and remember him by the ceremony of communion, and we feel so close and intimate to him.

 

Now, what really happens when we participate in it? We only see some tiny pieces of bread and small amount of wine in a cup, and wonder how this could be a ‘supper’. On top of that this meager food is called the ‘Holy Supper’.

 

But this meager offering can provide a weary traveler ‘the energy’ needed to continue the journey. It can restore ‘the vision’ for the traveler to see the faraway destination. Traditionally the churches in the desert have provided bread and wine to the travelers, just like a communion. For the pilgrims like us, the communion provides and restores the ‘energy and vision’ for further pilgrimage.

 

Why do we feel sadness when we have a communion service? The reason is because it reminds us of the night Jesus was arrested and of the supper just before the arrest when he talked to his disciples. This has been the tradition in Korean churches to bring the memory to our minds again during communion, but I have some reservation about that.

 

Certainly the communion has connection to Jesus’ suffering and death, but when he asked us to remember him, I think he wanted us to remember his resurrection, not his suffering and death.

 

During the communion service, we should not cry and feel sad for Jesus, but cry for us who in our daily struggles forget that Jesus died for us. The communion reminds us there is God’s invitation for us to sit at His table, so do not be so heartbroken over your present obstacles.

 

Psalms 23:5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

 

So, we should focus on the “heart of resurrected Jesus Christ” while going through the communion service. You remember in the movie “Passion of Christ” Jesus was warmly talking to his disciples and conveying his messages while giving the bread and the wine to them.

 

 

3.

Now let us meditate on the heart of Jesus Christ contained the communion service.

 

1) First, the communion is a thanksgiving serviceamong fellow Christians. Especially during dangerous times, the communion brings out our mutual thankfulness.

 

We live in dangerous world where all kinds of dangers are lurking underneath the calm. Imagine how Jesus must have felt when sending out his disciples.

 

Luke 10:3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

 

In this dangerous world, we Christians gather and have a thanksgiving communion. In his book ‘Freedom of Christians’, Martin Luther mentioned about this. “What makes them do this dangerous act? Why do they perform their thanksgiving communion in this world of death and dangers? They know and believe that they belong to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their lives, deaths, with soul and body, everything.”

 

This reminds us of another person in the Bible, Noah and his family. Despite of all the sneers and contempt from other people, Noah and his family had a peaceful time at their dinner table thanking God for their meals. They believed that they belonged to the Creator and Redeemer God, so they had a thanksgiving communion even in the midst of the great flood.

 

2)  Second, the communion makes us to reflect upon ourselves. On the night he was arrested, Jesus was having a Passover meal with his disciples. Obviously Jesus meant to show himself to be the lamb of the Passover.

 

On Passover the Jews celebrated their freedom from the tyranny of Pharaoh and the slavery in Egypt and thanked God for His intervention.   

 

Jesus’ disciples did not understand the impending death of Jesus, so could not comprehend his messages, and were very tense during the supper.

 

In this atmosphere, Jesus began his communion. “This is my body. This is my blood.” Who received the first communion of his body and blood? Among them were the Iscariot Judah who would betray Jesus, and Peter who would deny Jesus three times, and his beloved disciple John who would run away like a child, and all the rest of the disciples  would run away cowardly after Jesus was arrested.

 

Whenever we are at the communion table, we should reflect upon ourselves and realize that we are still filled with mistrust, betrayal, meanness, and fickleness. We remember that Jesus died for ‘us sinners’ and are thankful for ‘his invitation to the communion’.

 

3) Third, the communion should be received thankfully. At the first communion “Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples.” Jesus took the bread and gave thanks to God to glorify the Creator. Any bread and wine are gifts from God and we should thank God for all our food and drinks.

 

There is a confession from the writer of the Ecclesiastes. “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24) In other words all the good and drinks are the ‘simple gifts’ from God. At the first communion Jesus gave these simple gifts to his disciples equally to remind them they were one body in God’s love.

 

We have to glorify God and accept each other as the gifts from God. Just as God accepts us unconditionally, we should accept other Christians unconditionally. Always remember God’s open arms for us, and open our arms for other Christians to welcome them.

 

Even during the communion service, some of us may want to avoid a certain people, but we shouldn’t do that no matter how valid the excuse we have is. Communion is the time for our reconciliation and forgiveness of others, so we have to adhere to that principle.

 

4) Fourth, the communion is the time for experiencing God’s presence. At the first communion Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my body, this is my blood.” What happens at the communion? The answer is that Jesus has promised to be with us in our lives. What could be more comforting than Jesus’ presence in our lives when we face all the external and internal dangers?

 

In anyone’s religious life, the scariest moment is when you feel God’s silence and absenceat that time. Right now we do not see many signs of God’s presence, but only His long silence and shadows of His absence. In Korea the recent tragedy of capsized ferry amplified this worry. What was God doing when this tragedy struck so many church-going children? It is painful to contemplate God’s absence in this situation.

 

In our weakness, we search for God’s presence more intensely, and then we realize God’s love for us again. We come to the communion table convinced of God’s promise, and partake of the bread and wine, and come closer to God’s presence step by step by remembering Him.

 

“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

 

Now, I invite everyone to the communion table.

 

After communion service, we will sing this hymn together. “Casting away my way, now I follow Jesus’ way”

 

 

 

Please share at the cell group meetings.

 

1) Have you ever experienced God’s grace while going through the communion? Please share with your group.

 

2) How can you apply Jesus’ command of ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ in your own life?

   

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제목 : 'Divine Yes'
설교일 : 2019.10.13
본문말씀 : Genesis 13:1-13
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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