총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건

The Lord's Supper

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-07-09 (월) 06:55 조회 : 168
설교일 : 2018.07.08
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

July 8, 2018

 

The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

 

Rev. Kyung Lim Shin’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

Today is our Communion Sunday. Communion service is unique in Christianity and along with the cross, it represents the special characteristics of Christian churches. No other religion has the Holy Communion, as there has been only one God who has given His body and blood for mankind. In United Methodist Church, the baptism and the communion are the two sacraments. Some of you may have already known all about the Communion but let us meditate upon it together and refresh our memories. 

 

When I was growing up in Korea, Communion service was performed only on special occasions like Easter and Christmas. Later on, I learned in the church history class that it was because there weren’t enough number of pastors to perform the service in Korea at that time. So, it became a tradition to have the Communion only on Easter and Christmas, but now many churches in Korea have the Communion once a month. In U.S. some churches have the Communion every Sunday, and the Anglican church in front of the White House has Communion service at noon every day. Let us study why it is better to have the Communion more often.

 

Today’s passage says that whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup during the Communion service, we have to do two things and they are “remember the Lord” and “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”. Remember and Proclaim!! What should we remember and proclaim?

 

We used to emphasize the Lord’s death during the Communion service, and therefore, we were supposed to act solemn like at a funeral. But, was it really what Lord Jesus wanted? Communion service has originated from the last supper Lord Jesus had with His disciples just before He was taken by Roman soldiers. Knowing that He had to leave His beloved disciples soon, He must have felt all kinds of emotions and concerns, and He wanted to give them vitally important lessons, so that they could remember them and be strengthened, guided and healed by them after He was gone. What parents would want their children to remember how much they had suffered and sacrificed for them? Therefore, I am certain that Lord Jesus wanted His disciples to remember not His sufferings and death, but His ‘grace and love’, which is what most theologians agree on.

 

In the Gospel of John, John described this very clearly in chapter 13. ‘Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.’ (John 13:1) This verse is followed by the description of His last supper. Lord Jesus wanted us to remember and be strengthened by His love, His enduring love in the midst of sufferings, tortures and death, which is continuing even after His death till the end.

 

His love can forgive the human failures and betrayals. Judas Iscariot was present at His last supper and the four Gospels mention the presence of Judas at the supper to inform us that Lord Jesus had known Judas was going to betray Him and even testified that “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” Jesus wants us to remember that His love is not only for those who deserve, but also for those who do not deserve and even for those who betray Him and break His heart.

 

Dear congregation, have you ever betrayed Lord Jesus? If you are filled with other thoughts instead of Jesus, that is your betrayal. If you push your own thoughts and judgment instead of asking for the will of Jesus, that is your betrayal. If you choose what you want to do, fully knowing what Jesus would want you to do, that is your betrayal. If you change the Lord’s day into the day for yourself, for your children and for your work, that is your betrayal.

 

Most of us condemn Judas Iscariot easily and believe that we will never betray Jesus like he did. Let us think some more. Why did Judas betray Lord Jesus whom he had been following with devotion and sacrifice? We don’t think he betrayed because of thirty pieces of silver. The thirty coins were just the result of his betrayal, which came because he was disappointed in Jesus, as He was not what he had expected. He had been so impressed with Jesus by His miraculous signs and healings, by His smart speech which had put Sadducees and Pharisees to shame, and by His claim to be the son of God that he gave up his work, family, and career to follow Him. When Judas heard Jesus talking about His arrest and death in the near future, he must have been extremely disappointed and felt regrets and angry also. That was the root cause of his betrayal.

 

If we had expected Lord Jesus to do favors for us, get a good job, solve the problems at home, provide good future for our children, heal our sickness, take care of us in our old age, give us peace of mind, and those things didn’t happen, then we get disappointed in Him and blame Him and get angry at Him, and then leave Him or leave church, like Judas did. To Judas, Jesus was no longer his ‘Lord’, as Jesus didn’t fulfill his expectations, so he was able to sell Him. Leaving Jesus, abandoning Jesus, or separating from Jesus is betraying Jesus. When we see Judas leaving the supper right after taking the bread, we know he was leaving Jesus for good. His life was ended when he killed himself. No matter how bad the circumstances are, no matter how disappointed we may be in Jesus for doing nothing for us, even if we are convinced this is the end, we should not leave Jesus.

We can imagine that the remaining 11 disciples of Jesus did not feel very comfortable with the situation. They could have been very wondering if their decision to follow Jesus had been misguided and perhaps considered that they should also leave Jesus for their better future. We can understand their doubts and confusion at this time. But they didn’t leave Jesus and were able to escape from their downfall. Likewise, we have to hold onto Jesus, no matter how confused and doubtful we are and how tough the situation may be. Just as Lord Jesus has loved us until the end, we should also love Him and hold onto Him until the end. By doing so, we will be healed and restored.

 

Having watched Judas Iscariot and the fickle behaviors of His disciples, Lord Jesus wanted to make this last request to them; Remember my love for you and that I have loved you until the end even in the midst of my body being torn apart and my blood being drained. Even though fully aware of your faults and betrayals, I have not forsaken you and loved you constantly. Remember that my love for you is unconditional.

 

Lord Jesus wants us to remember and experience His love and grace every time we have the Communion service, which is a unique and special characteristic of Christianity. And the Communion is open to anyone and does not require any qualifications. But, there is one thing we have to do; we have to repent our sins. The Bible makes it clear; “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29). Nowadays, a lot of churches omit these verses in their effort to emphasize the love of Jesus, but they should be included. All of us should examine ourselves and confess our sins first and then, receive the Communion.

 

There are some denominations of Christianity which will not allow a certain type of sinners to receive the Communion, and I think that practice is problematic also. Judas Iscariot did not participate in the Communion at the last supper and he ended up killing himself. Communion is the means for the grace and the place of the grace. Those with more sins to repent should be encouraged more to participate in the Communion; by confessing our sins, repenting our sins and then receiving the Communion, we get to experience the love and forgiveness of Jesus, and afterwards we are lifted up by the forgiveness to start a new life. That is why the Communion is called ‘the crutch for those of us with weak faith’, and I hope and pray that all of us will always participate in the Communion and live in the grace, remembering the abundant grace of the Lord for us.

 

The difference between forgetfulness and dementia; If you can’t remember what you were going to get from downstairs, you are forgetful. On the other hand, if you can’t remember you were going down or going up, then you have dementia. What kind of mental illness do you have in your life of faith, is it forgetfulness or dementia?

 

A former student of mine begged me to find a job for him and promised that he would never forget the favor bestowed on him all his life. Well, after I managed to find a job for him, he completely forgot all his promises to me. I was disappointed but tried to understand him. Then, one day he called me and begged me to find a job for him again. He kept calling me several times a day and promised that he would repay the favor to me. I really didn’t want to help, but I couldn’t refuse to help him, as I was able to find him a suitable job. Then, his calls stopped coming. Sometime later, the same thing happened again; he was begging me to help him. I was really annoyed at him and blamed myself for not teaching him well.

 

Then, I realized that he had the same familiar traits in him as my own. How I beg the Lord when I need something really bad and then completely forget what He has done for me when things go well. Sometimes I believe wrongly that it is I who has made it happen and do not even thank the Lord. When another emergency strikes me, and then I beg the Lord for mercy. Afterwards, I completely forget what the Lord has done for me. I was shocked at my resemblance to my ungrateful student. I believed that I had always tried to pay back any favors and obligations in my life, but on close examination, I found out that I was another shameless ingrate.

 

During the Communion service, we have to remember and give thanks for the grace we have received. Just as we have to remember and be grateful for the favors others have given to us, we should never forget the grace of Lord Jesus who has given us a new life through His body and blood.

 

One thing I want to point out is that the Communion is not a personal event but a communal event. Nobody can perform Communion service alone. It is imperative for the community to share the body and blood of the Lord with other children of the Lord, as the act of giving and receiving is very important in Communion. Christianity is not an individualistic religion, nor a religion of cultivating one’s mind alone for self-discipline. God created the heaven and earth and after making Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” During His ministry on earth, Jesus did not work alone, but had 12 disciples to help Him. Certainly, Lord Jesus could manage everything in His ministry by Himself but formed a community with His 12 disciples. When you have a community, there will be more inter-personal and logistical problems, but Jesus chose to have a community rather than a few individuals to help Him. Quite often we run into people who say, “I don’t like to be with a crowd of people making too much of noise. I would rather worship alone quietly in a clean environment.” Their point of view is different from the viewpoints of God and Jesus and Christianity, as God and Jesus have always emphasized the importance of a community. These are the two greatest commandments of Lord; The first was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and the second was “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He always talked about living with others in peace and emphasized the love, patience, forgiveness and unity with others.

 

Lord Jesus also liked to eat and drink with others. He enjoyed the company of all kinds of people and ate with them, including tax collectors and sinners whom others in the community shunned. After the resurrection, He appeared to two disciples heading to Emmaus and ate with them. He prepared breakfast for His disciples who had been fishing in Lake Galilee all night without catching any fish and called them, “Come and have breakfast.” He wanted to eat with His disciples who were heart-broken over Lord Jesus and couldn’t even catch any fish after working all night. Therefore, through Communion service, we have to share the bread and cup with all the others in the community and remember the love and grace of Lord Jesus.

 

The second thing we have to do is ‘to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes’. We have to proclaim not only His death, but also the fact that He accomplished the salvation of mankind through His death, as well as the reason why He came down to earth and how much He loves us. ‘Until He comes’ means that He has been resurrected and that He will come again. Communion Service is ‘a holy service to commemorate the sufferings and death and resurrection of Lord Jesus’. In Communion, we remember the past and celebrate the present and look forward to the final victory of righteousness in the future. When giving the Communion, the words of ‘the body of Christ’ and ‘the blood of Christ’ are used by the servers to proclaim all these, and the receivers agree to all the proclamation by saying ‘amen’. After the Communion Service, we confess through our prayers that having been invited to the Lord’s supper and helped by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we now make a firm promise that we will do our utmost in doing God’s work and living responsibly in the outside world. In summary, the two pillars of Communion service are remembering the grace of God and proclaiming our responsibility.

 

I hope and pray that by participating in today’s Communion, we will remember the Lord’s enduring love for us in spite of our faults and betrayals and also remember His forgiveness and grace for us. I want you to experience the amazing grace of the Lord by receiving His body and blood thankfully. And I want you to proclaim His one and only love and become a responsible witness for the final victory of God’s righteousness. Consequently, may all of us be able to participate in the heavenly banquet given by Christ after His second coming!

 

 

 


   

총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
511 2018.11.18  Where do you find your happiness? Matthew 13:44 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
510 2018.11.18  행복은 어디에 마태 복음 13:44 신경림 목사
509 2018.11.11  The Forgotten Identity John 1:14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
508 2018.11.11  잊혀진 정체성 요한 복음 1:14 신경림 목사
507 2018.11.04  'After reaching the mature age of 40' 2 Kings 2:1-14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
506 2018.11.04  마흔 즈음에 왕하 2:1-14 신경림 목사
505 2018.10.28  Reformation Sunday Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 2:8 Rev. Dr. McAllister-Wilson
504 10.21.2018  The testimonies of our lay people James 1:12 3 Lay people
503 10.21.2018  평신도주일 간증 야고보서 1:12 평신도 3인
502 2018.10.14  Plan G!! Matthew 16:21-27 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
501 2018.10.14  Plan G!! 마태복음 16:21-27 신경림 목사
500 2018.10.07  'Must be born again to enter the kingdom of God' John 3:1-8 Rev. Se Jin Bae
499 2018.10.07  거듭남과 하나님 나라 요한 복음 3:1-8 배세진 목사
498 2018.09.30  'The Actively Working Faith' Luke 24:13-27 Rev. Sun Hyung Jo
497 2018.09.30  '작동하는 믿음' 누가 복음 24:13-27 조선형 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Where do you find your happiness?
설교일 : 2018.11.18
본문말씀 : Matthew 13:44
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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