Join us tomorrow for Cafe Liberty in the half-hour prior to Worship at 10:15 AM. In the pace of life with many points of need and concern, God’s grace empowers the care and connections we can share, even in brief times to meet and greet. We so appreciate the way Cafe Liberty volunteers serve. Early arrivers really help us kick off greeting times too! Thanks so much to you all.
Our Water Baptism service on August 20th is also a time when those receiving baptism bring family and loved ones to share our joy in the steps of faith each of them are taking.
How blessed we are to link up and stand with each of you in daily prayer or in any other way we can be of help to you. Also, in our plans for our annual church cookout on August 27th, please see the sign-up sheet on the Connections Table. Friends are invited to join us for worship @ 10:15 AM, a grill and fellowship gathering with lots of outdoor fun to share. Bringing covered dish sides and/or salads, desserts or chips to go along with grilled burgers, sausages and hot dogs is the way we put these meals together. Love to see you!
* * * * *
Cherishing the Lord’s Table: a Timeless Treasure for Today
We’ve all heard the old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt”. That sad axiom could be the banner over many aspects of our culture today. In the realm of respect for authority, courtesy and patience in a crowded space, a willingness to “go the extra mile” in the workplace, the boundaries against unacceptable behavior have dropped almost out of sight in many public places.
Often the most valuable aspects of life are overlooked because of the “shiny thing” that’s grabbed everyone’s attention. That same kind of cultural callousness can creep into the way people think about the things of God. What could be more tragic than to miss something God has in store for us, because of overlooking, neglecting or disregarding its significance?
We’ve been tracing the dynamic life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the early chapters of the Book of Acts. In each or our “Out-of-the-Ordinary” cases, there are treasures of truth that can energize and equip worshipers today. Along the way, it becomes crystal clear that the way the Holy Spirit prepared willing hearts for bold new steps of faith was in very simple expressions of love for the risen Lord.
In their amazing story, we see why it would be such a soul-shattering mistake to be too “familiar” with God’s good gifts.
Symbols that could easily be carried across the globe in future centuries were placed in the hands of the earliest disciples.
About 20 years after the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Paul wrote about the “Why?” behind those phenomenal stories.
As a late-comer to the “new wine” adventure, so-to-speak, Paul had such a unique vantage point. In one of his letters to a church located 800 miles away from Jerusalem, Paul illustrated their new life in the Kingdom by use of those same symbols that Jesus had physically placed in the hands of His “Twelve” at the beginning.
Taking unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, Jesus had described his sufferings and his upcoming sacrificial death on the Cross.
In Paul’s explanation to new churches in a totally different culture, he says “I received from the Lord Jesus that which I also passed on to you…” (I Corinthians 11:23a)
With his focus on the finished work of Jesus, through the shedding of his own blood, Paul’s words brought the full impact of the Lord’s Table to his listeners. As a flame of infinite value for the spreading of the Gospel ignited faith in the hearts of thousands, the meal that mirrored Jesus’ night of agony became not only “theirs” but “ours”!
This is why, as simple as it is, God’s invitation to partake of the Lord’s Table together is priceless. Worshipers arise in honor for the awesome reality that a simple “meal” represents. Followers of Jesus bow before His throne when we realize anew what it cost our Savior to redeem each of us for His eternal Kingdom. The sheer wonder of what it means to be forgiven and set free, to live for the glory of God, is held within the simple symbolism of Communion.
In essence, each Table invitation reflects the distinct “DNA code” that is part of our spiritual inheritance. We take to heart the indescribable treasure described in II Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” In awe for His goodness and honor for His goal to use each redeemed believer for greater service, we meet at His Table.
* * * * *
Men’s Group Evening Meal and Bible Study – Tuesday, August 15th, 6:30 PM
Brothers, you’re invited to another get-together for supper and fellowship with Bible study
Send a note via reply to this email or to my text # (410.596.4096) to link up with us on Tuesday.
We love to hear from friends sharing these times together via the livestream at 10:15 AM on Sundays or at other times in your schedule(s):
Here are those links to find livestream or the audio podcast via Spotify: