Category Archives: Communion

Do you feel it?

Well?  Do you?  If you do, you know what I’m talking about even without me having to explain… but I’m going to anyway.  The Planned Parenthood videos. Rampant sexual immorality.  The USA turning on Israel.  Iran heading toward owning a nuc.  The legalization of same-sex marriage.  The divisions along ethnic lines.  Christians, among others, being raped, tortured, beheaded, shot, enslaved, and driven from their homelands.  The filth on television, in movies, and in books.

It’s all there in the back of your head, isn’t it?  But, there’s something else there too… a call.  A pull on your heart and a still small voice in your head urging you to be different, to do something.  What is that something?

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints , practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you ; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I don’t know how much time we have left on this ol’ world, and of course from day-to-day any one of us may be gone.  I hear fretting and fear, but I also hear the questions of what we can or should do in this world of ours.  The answer is squarely in your own life.  Seek Him, pray, research and read the word.  Keep your ears and eyes open as to how you can serve others, esp. our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Can you give time?  Can you give money?  Can you pray?  Don’t bury your head in the sand.  Face what is going on around us and respond, don’t react.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

See to your families, especially your children.  See to your brothers and sisters in Christ.  See to your neighbors.  Have faith, have courage, you are children of the King… and that comes with great responsibility and great power, but we have to be aware of it every single day, and be in the world but not of it.  Keep your heads up, and while they are up, look for your redemption draws nigh.  Let’s be about Our Father’s business while we wait, and don’t be discouraged dear reader  He has overcome the world.  Be hard workers, model hard work for others, be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.  Grow in knowledge, grow in skills, grow in connection with others that love the Lord.  Ask the Lord for Wisdom, and peace, and joy, and patience, and shed those things abroad so that others see and realize their need for Him, or so that they are strengthened in their own walk.

I hope to blog more soon about some of the things I’ve touched on here.  Pray for me, and I’ll be praying for you.

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

K

PS; if you are reading this, and you aren’t yet a member of the Body of Christ, I hope you consider it.  We pray for you too.

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Filed under Christianity, Communion, Religion and Politics

Parents; it is your job to teach your kids about God.

I heard something on the radio today that disturbed me greatly.  What was it?  A preacher trying to tell parents the way to tell their kids about God, Jesus, and salvation.  Ugh.  No.  He was tossing words out there like “justification.”  Yeah, say that word to your three year old, and see if they understand.  The preacher was making a point in saying that you just keep telling the child the same thing over and over, and eventually, mysteriously, they’ll get it.

Any developmentalist will tell you that you don’t talk to a three year old the way you talk to a nine year old, it’s useless.  The preacher seemed to think that a child has to jump through a series of hoops in order to be well and truly saved, and that the kid needs to know everything an adult would know, and that the child needs to make sure to be old enough, etc… Well, yeah, children need to have an understanding of who Jesus is, and what He did.  But, Jesus didn’t ask how old the children were who wanted to come to Him.

Anyone, regardless of age is allowed to go to Jesus, in fact, it is encouraged.  The child isn’t going to be able to set down and write out a dissertation on sin and redemption, but that’s fine.  A child’s faith is held up as what we adults are to aim for.  A parent needs to evaluate each child and not compare them to one another.  Some will “get it” sooner than others, and that’s fine.  It is indeed your responsibility to always check along the way, for example, when your child wants to take communion, you need to make sure they do understand what it means.

Further, parents, it is your job to teach you children, not a preacher.  You need to know your own faith, and why you have it, good enough to explain that to your children.  Know faith and grace, know scripture, know Jesus.  Remember your kids are watching you and you need to make sure you realize you are their number one model.  Also, realize your child does not know what you know, you are not your child.  You may know that baptism isn’t required for salvation, and why, but your kids don’t, unless you TEACH them.

Some parents think that they can just give their children books, or have them watch cartoons, or listen to a certain preacher and that will be fine.  No, it won’t.  You are to raise your children up with the instruction that they need from you personally.  Ask questions, and then really listen to their answers.  Listen to sermons together, watch those cartoons together. Read the Bible together, and don’t water it down.

As a final thought; as you walk this road with your child, I would bet they’ll teach you a lot about God too, so be willing to learn.

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Filed under Christianity, Communion, Conversion, Theology, Uncategorized

Feedback; Jesus and communion…

I had a question emailed to me recently asking about what Jesus would have used for the bread and wine during the last supper.  Of course, those are the elements that make up our communion, or memorial.  The bread He used would have been the matzoh prepared for Passover specifically.  At the time, it was hand made, without yeast (which represents sin).

The wine used was probably a bit weaker than our modern wine, but because of the fermentation process and the time in which Jesus lived, it surely did contain alcohol.  As for what we “should” use today, or the closest we could get, would probably be Kosher for Passover matzoh and for Passover wine as well.

I don’t believe we should be legalistic about the elements used; however, the symbolic nature of these specific elements always help me to focus on Christ, and to see how He completes the images of Passover.  Here is one of my articles that goes into the details of Matzoh: The Bread  As for what a church can use, I personally think some type of unleavened bread is only proper, though, again, it is a symbol and not to be turned into something legalistic.  I personally think members should be given a choice between juice and wine, since there are good reasons why some people don’t drink, as well as juice being available for those under 21.

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Sidetrack; More talk about transubstantiation…

I have more to write on my Romans passages, but I was reading in Matthew last night, and came across another example of the Lord using a food parable to get His point across in a similar manner that He was attempting to do in John 6.  Of course, John 6 is the often referred to chapter in John when someone is trying to promote the idea of transubstantiation.  You can read my post on that chapter, and transubstantiation here: John 6 and Transubstantiation (pt. 1).

Let’s look in Matthew;

Matthew 16:5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

First notice that the apostles tried to take Christ literally.  He’s talking about bread and leaven…He must be referring to the literal, right? Nope.  Next notice that Jesus does not correct them outright; He makes them get to the conclusion on their own.  He gives them the non-sinful equivalent of an eye roll.  They do eventually catch on to the truth themselves; Jesus was being metaphorical.

I also note that when He brought used the idea of bread and leaven here, that He was speaking about doctrine.  That further supports that idea that He was also speaking of doctrine, or partaking of the the words of life, in John 6, not His literal body.

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Filed under Catholicism, Communion

This is My Body, This is My Blood;

I’m giving a concrete example of another issue in Communion today.  These words of Christ are indeed important ones.  These words are part of the scriptural support that many from a Roman church background give in support of transubstantiation.  They have a right, and a duty, really, to take these words very seriously; but are we to take them literally?

It’s possible.  But, as always, we must look at other possibilities, such as figures of speech for illustrating purposes.  Figures of speech are used in scripture; metaphors and parables quite regularly.  In trying to explain why Christ used such strong statements; this is My Body, this is My Blood, I’ve always known precisely what I’m trying to get across, the question was what was a good example of this language when used in metaphor.

First, it is important to point out that I do indeed take His words seriously, but I believe context, and the whole context of scripture does not support transubstantiation; I touch on Jesus’ words here in my second part in my posts on transubstantiation.  But do we, as humans and as “teachers” ever employ such strong words in non-literal, analogical language?  The answer is yes we do.

I was pondering over what example would be a clear one, and then it hit me…a blast from my past.  I remembered seeing these commercials on TV quite regularly as a kid.  Note the language that is used, along with the visuals; this is meant to make a lasting impact and give people a visual cue to go off of.

Do we have visual imagery used in conjunction with Jesus’ words; This is My Body, This is My Blood?  Yep.  My last post was on the Matzoh used in this instruction from Jesus.  Matzoh being a visual picture of Christ’s body.  The wine, red wine, is a visual of His blood. When He said these words, He held up the visual symbols.

“This is drugs.”  Is that literally drugs in that pan?  Of course it isn’t; it’s sizzling grease.  “This is your brain…” Is that literally a person’s brain? Nope; it’s an egg.  The point is this shows a perfect example of this style of language, and also shows why it is used.

Humans are very visual creatures, and it is a lot easier for us to remember things when they are “attached” to visual images.  Christ knew this very well, and so, taught His disciples what He wanted done in remembrance of Him, and to show Him forth in a visual, as well as verbal way…as in the commercial, they were not to be taken literally, but figuratively.

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Communion; The Bread…

In Communion, The Lord’s Supper, the eucharist (meaning thanksgiving, not transubstantiation), we have two elements present; the bread and the wine.  What kind of bread would the Lord have broken in “the last supper?”

Of course the answer can be found in the Jewish roots of our faith, and the time of the feast of Passover (and preparation for it, and the feast of unleavened bread) which Jesus and the disciples would have been in the midst of.  Would He have had a perfectly round, white wafer, such as the RC uses in their celebration of Mass?  Would it have been a big loaf of white bread, full of yeast as used in some churches?  No; it would have been Jewish Matzoh (AKA: Matzah, Matsah, Matzo, or Matza).

It would have been Matzoh specially prepared for Passover.  Matzoh is unleavened bread; bread with no yeast, or leavening agents.  Why is this important?  Well, first of all, yeast or leaven represents sin.  During the time leading up to Passover, Jewish families would purge all yeast from their houses.

Why else?  Because Jewish Matzoh paints a visual picture of Christ Himself, and it explains in more depth Jesus words; this is My Body.

Matzoh is unleavened, representing Christ as having no sin.  It’s appearance is striped, bruised, and pierced; as His body would become for us.  In the picture above, you can see the striped appearance, and the bruised appearance, and if you held a piece up to the light, you can see light coming through the piercings in the bread.

Within the Passover meal, there is a particular piece of Matzoh used (I’ll explain all the images in Passover a bit more at some later date), that is hidden, then taken out, and broken.  It was this piece of Matzoh that Christ would have blessed and broken.  The blessing would probably have gone something similar to this: Blessed art Thou, o Lord Our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.  If you hear the resurrection in this blessing, you are spot on!

Notice that the bread was indeed broken.  This bread is like a thin cracker and breaks quite dramatically.  It was all a visual of what Christ’s own body would go through for us; He would be bruised, striped by the cruel whips of the Romans, pierced by nails, and a spear…His body broken (not His bones, but His body, His flesh); He is sinless, as the bread is unleavened.  This bread is again, like a picture.

Now, does one have to use this bread in communion?  No, I don’t believe so; it should not be a legalistic issue.  However, it is a valuable lesson in our roots, and also why Christ chose that type of bread to represent His body.  (I also think it shows a stark contrast with the RC’s white, unpierced, unstriped, unbruised, and unbroken hosts that they choose to use in their celebration of the Mass.)

I do think that using Matzoh aids us in remembering Christ’s sacrifice, as we have a picture, or a type of Christ right before us while partaking…and after learning a lot of this from Levitt Ministries I do prefer to partake of Matzoh in communion when and where  possible.  Again the aim of communion is to “keep our eyes” on Christ, and remember Him.

If you are interested in obtaining some Matzoh, either for your church, or for home communion, or just for studying/eating, you can find it at larger grocery stores, or if you are like me and live in a very rural area, you can find “for Passover Matzoh” online.  Some Matzoh is cleared by Rabbi’s for Passover use, and some is not (just look on the box).  The difference is in how long it takes to make.  Often times you can only get Matzoh marked for Passover use around…well, Passover.  However, I’ve been able to find it online all year round.

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Showing forth Christ…

I was going to write about Morality and Ethics in the season ender of Doctor Who for today…but as I thought about the show I actually was drawn to write about something else…something a bit more serious.  The show really did bring this to mind, with the Holy Spirit’s help I believe…remember I’m a fan of being on the look out for the “sacred” in the “secular.” One of the scenes in the Doctor Who finale involved a character pledging to remember the Doctor, and honor his memory…to carry it on in a way, as the Doctor is about his business.

Within Christianity, in the act of communion; the taking of the bread and wine, we are to remember Christ at His own command.  He makes it into an imperative; do this in remembrance of Me.  We know how serious this is, as Paul underlines the fact that we need to partake in a worthy manner.  As I explained in a previous post, this verse has been misconstrued by different preachers to mean that we as humans must be worthy to partake; not so.  See my previous post here for more detail on that:  Communion; Unworthily vs. unworthy.

Paul also teaches: 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. And that verse is what struck me as I mulled this over.  I realized an important point; we are not just showing the Lord’s death to our fellow humans, though that is important too.  There are others watching as well; the holy Angels, the fallen angels, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God Himself.

Communion is one of the ways we communicate and act on our faith…think of it from Jesus’ point-of-view in the limited way that we can.  We partake to remember Him, to Honor Him, and to show Him.  While we partake the object of our remembrance and honor is right there with us, as He always is.  But think how He must feel amongst us as we do so!

I don’t know about you, but as I read about the time when Jesus went to pray and asked Peter, James, and Mark to stay and watch and they fell asleep as He prayed.  I have to admit I ask myself, “would I have been able to stay awake in the same situation?”  Jesus wanted their company, and asked them to come, yet they fell asleep in an hour when He did not wish to be alone.

He’s asked us to partake of bread and wine…and I think it gladdens His heart when we actually do so with our focus on Him…when we stay “awake.”  Again, I don’t believe one must take communion in a group, or even in a church (that is another post for another time), but I think it is fascinating to dwell on the fact that even if one is alone in their house partaking, they are still showing Him forth, and also fulfilling Christ’s command.  We are also showing Him forth to ourselves; it helps us to remember Him, and increases our faith because it is an act of faith.

I don’t mean it in the “presenting the sacrifice to God” as the Roman church teaches; far from it…I’ve always found that a bit arrogant; the High Priest Himself is who offered up The Sacrifice, and it was only done once, and only had to be done once.  No, we are showing forth, not offering up.  But, think about us, we enjoy it when someone remembers something hard that we have done for someone else, and that feeling of joy and acknowledgment surely is no sin.  We are remembering Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that were for us, to save us, to redeem us.  His body broken in horrible ways symbolized by the broken bread, and His blood shed for us, for the remission of our sin symbolized by the wine.  When we remember, honor, and show Him forth, surely that makes Him glad of the remembrance…in fact, think of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looking on.

This same idea would hold true for baptism as well…we should not forget that while our fellow humans can be present, our audience is not limited to them. This idea should also raise within us the awareness that these things are not light matters; they are very serious indeed.  This ties in to a post that I need to write soon; home communion and the fact that you can partake in your home even if you don’t attend an organizational church.  We should not allow that fact to stop us from showing forth Christ, and following His command that we partake in remembrance.

Related posts:

John 6 and Transubstantiation and Transubstantiation (pt. 2)

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