Wednesday, March 23, 2016

two things in mind 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 John 13:4-15

The Bible is a collection of accounts of God's activity in the world. People who had profound experiences of God's activity used human language to tell the story of what God had done. In the tradition of the church on Maundy Thursday we remember two wonderful and distinct accounts of Jesus' last supper.

  • What Paul said about the last supper,
  • What John said about the last supper,
Paul's words, in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, about the night of Jesus betrayal are so familiar to every week worshipers.

John's words, John 13:4-15, aren't nearly as familiar to any every week worshiper—but they are no less important.

I want to keep these two directions in mind.
Take and eat, take and drink. This is my body, this is my blood do this in rememberance or me 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.

So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you John 13:14-16.
Remember when you come to the Lord's Table.
Remember when you meet your neighbor.
Jesus directions are so different; but to be a disciple is to take both seriously
  • come and meet God present for us bread and wine, Jesus body and blood in communion.
  • serve like Christ has served us.
Disciples are found living out their faith remembering Jesus. But we don't just remember Jesus in our heads or in some high sounding spiritual place. We meet Jesus in this world in very concrete ways. We meet him in the bread and wine. We meet him in the people who we help as he has helped us.

Remembering is uniquely human. I think my dog remembers where the treats are and where the food can be found. But I don't think he can remember Jesus' call for us serve and to meet him. My dog can remember a friend and he also steers away from dogs who he's had issues with in the past. But Jesus invites us to a deep, human level of remembering. Jesus invites us to remember what he has done and where we will find him today and throughout our live, in the Lord's supper in service to our neighbors.

Following Jesus, being his disciple today is about meeting Jesus today and following his direction in our lives today. Discipleship in the year 2016 right here and now is about worship and service. Remembering is essential to worship today. Remembering is essential to service too. Here in this room we will we gather around the table and hear the good news of his deep love for us. And beyond the walls of this building we will be Christ's body in service. We remember him when we meet our neighbors as servants. We remember him not just in this beautiful space but when we follow his example. John's story of the last supper includes Jesus taking off his cloak and kneeling down to wash the feet of his friends.

Remembering Jesus doesn't just happen in worship. Following Jesus means remembering what he did and what he taught as we come to the our own crosses and as we come to our place in the Easter story as sinner redeemed by grace through faith. Jesus cross is no mere metaphor, and his direction to meet him at the table and in service are not idle words. It's our guide into life.

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