An Advent Eucharist

This sacrament which we are about to partake of together is a visible reminder of our Lord’s first Advent.

The true physicality of the incarnation is matched here by the physicality of this Supper. The eternal Son, begotten of the Father, truly became man.

You could behold Him with your eyes. You could reach out and touch Him with your hands. Just as you see and touch this bread and wine here today.

And this is sacrament is also a reminder of Christ’s second Advent. As the Apostle Paul says in the words of institution proclaimed each week, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

So here at this Table we look back at our Lord’s first Advent and His work on our behalf.

We look forward to His second Advent, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of our great God and Savior. 

And we behold now our Lord, for He comes to us here in this moment in simple bread and wine.

So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

The Soil of Honor

This exhortation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on November 13, AD 2022.

We are beginning to enter the holiday season, with Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away and then Christmas a month after that. And with the joys and excitement of the holidays can also come, for some of you, various challenges with family – especially with parents or in-laws.

So this morning I want you to consider your upcoming family gatherings not as challenges to overcome, but opportunities from the hand of the Lord. They are opportunities to obey God when He commands us to “honor thy father and mother.”

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Bound to God

This baptismal meditation was given at King’s Cross Church on November 6, AD 2022.

In this sacrament of baptism God covenantally binds Himself to us and we to Him. 

Here this morning God is claiming these children as His, marking them with the waters of baptism that are a sign and seal of the inner cleansing work of His Spirit. God is promising Himself to them, to be what He is already to their parents and siblings, a good and faithful Father. 

Likewise, upon baptism these children are now bound to God, to live in accordance with His Word, to walk in step with His Spirit, to maintain allegiance to Him and His kingdom all the days of their lives.

And the magnificent thing about these covenant obligations is that it is all of grace. For it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. And He promises never to depart. Amen. 

Love One Another

This exhortation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on November 6, AD 2022.

One mark of God’s saving work in our lives is our love for His people, our care for one another in this church. 

We see this teaching in John 13, where Jesus says that all people will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another (13:35). The Apostle John then picks up this focus on love again in his own letters, writing that “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers” (1 Jn. 3:14). 

There is a tradition regarding John which says that when he was extremely old in age and living in Ephesus, the men in the church had to carry him into the gatherings. At this point he could barely speak, but each gathering he managed to say these words — “Little children, love one another.” The repetition of this simple command eventually annoyed some in the church, and so they asked him, “Teacher, why do you always say this?” And he replied with a line worthy of John: “Because it is the Lord’s commandment and if it alone is kept, it is sufficient.”

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Jesus Makes Us Strong

This communion meditation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on November 6, AD 2022.

In our church baptized children are welcome to the Lord’s Table. This practice, known as child communion or paedocommunion, is a minority view in the Reformed church. We recognize this, and yet we are humbly convinced by Scripture that this is a biblical, consistent, and appropriate practice. 

One of the various reasons behind this practice is what we see when looking at the place of children during covenant meals in the Old Testament. 

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Worth Dying For

This communion meditation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on October 30, A.D. 2022.

One central debate during the Reformation was regarding the Lord’s Supper. And this debate was more than a theological food fight. For some men, their disputations ended in their deaths. 

Two of these men were the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. You may recall the famous story of how the elderly Latimer turned to his colleague before the flames and said, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”

But did you know that the three charges against these men were all about their teachings on this sacrament before us now? That if they simply recanted their views on this Table, they could have spared their own lives? 

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Another Reformation

This exhortation was given to King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on October 30, A.D. 2022.

Today is Reformation Sunday, with tomorrow being the 505th anniversary of Luther publishing his 95 Theses which sparked the Reformation. So this morning I want you to consider this: Do you have the faith to see another Reformation in our day? 

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A Covenantal World

In God’s good design for this world, there is a covenantal relationship between parents and their children, in which the decisions of parents automatically affect the children.

Children, while individuals, are not merely individuals, but members of a family, a people, a nation, and so on. This is how we should see our world of relationships, for it is how God sees the world. 

As the Princeton theologian A.A. Hodge once wrote, “God has in all respects made the standing of a child depend upon that of the parent. The sin of the parent carries away the infant from God; likewise, so the faith of the parent brings the infant near to God.”

This is simply how it is. Even parents today who militate against this, who wickedly desire for their young children to somehow independently “choose their own identities,” are still teaching and applying their own ideologies to their children. It is inescapable. 

And so here this morning, we are baptizing our little brother James, acknowledging that we live in a covenantal world, and that by God’s grace he has been born into a Christian family. He is a Kramer, and by this baptism, he is received into the church as a Christian.

And so we pray that the faith of his parents, his family, and this church, will bring him nearer and nearer to God, all the days of his life. Amen.