In our reading from the Heidelberg Catechism today (Q. 76), we were taught what it means to partake of this sacrament – what it means to “eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink his shed blood.”Continue reading
This communion meditation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on January 8, AD 2023.
Christmas has come to a close and we have now entered into the season of Epiphany, which recalls the visit of the Wise Men to our Lord, and is a celebration of Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles.
This inclusion of the Gentiles in God’s covenant community is prophesied throughout the Old Testament.
One such passage is from the Prophet Malachi, where we read, “For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering” (Mal. 1:11).
What is interesting about this wonderful promise of a pure offering among the nations is that it was one of the most frequently cited passages by the early Church when discussing the Lord’s Supper.Continue reading
This communion meditation was given at King’s Cross Church on December 18, AD 2022.
In both Matthew and Luke’s nativity accounts we are told how Christ was born in Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David.
This was to fulfill the words of the Prophet Micah when he declared unto Bethlehem that though they are too small a city to be among the clans of Judah, from them shall come forth one who is to be the ruler of Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient of days (Micah 5).
There is another significance to the location of Bethlehem, for Bethlehem in Hebrew means “House of Bread.”
It’s interesting that in his narrative, Luke points out a seemingly minor detail not just once but three times. He notes that Mary laid her firstborn son in a manger, for there was no place for them in the inn. This detail surely highlights the humility of the incarnation, that our Lord and King was not born in a palace but a stable.
But it also points to something else. Here in Bethlehem, in the House of Bread, lays a child in a feeding trough—the One who is the Bread of Life. And here at this Table, we remember how from that day on His humility increased. This Bread of Life was eventually broken for us and for the life of the world.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
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.
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.Continue reading
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?Continue reading
This communion meditation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on March 13 A.D. 2022.
When Christ established this meal with His disciples, He also did something else that evening in the Upper Room.
He rose from the table, laid aside his outer clothing, and tied a towel around His waist. He then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet, wiping them dry with the towel wrapped around him.
He took the place of a servant.Continue reading
This meditation was given at Christ Church Downtown on Nov 7 AD 2021.
In my exhortation earlier I encouraged you all to remember that the church is indeed one.
Despite our many differences, we are united by a common faith in Christ, and we are all part of one Body which has Christ as its head.
And yet while our oneness is a fundamental attribute of the church that can never be denied, it is still something that we must continually strive for and maintain at the same time. To do this we must avoid unnecessary divisions and conflicts which strike at and strain our fellowship and unity.
And it is here at this table where we find a means of grace toward that end.
It is here in this sacrament called communion where we all partake together as one.
For this table is the Lord’s and this table is one. It stretches across the earth and across time, and at it sits the Lord and His Bride.
As we partake of this bread and wine week after week, the Father delights in continuing to answer Christ’s prayer—that all who believe in Him would be made one in His perfect love.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
Psalm 118 is a joyful song of thanksgiving, in which the psalmist calls on all the people of God to give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever.
We see this psalm recited when Jesus enters Jerusalem and the crowd recognizes the coming King crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
We also have good reason to believe that this was the psalm that Jesus Himself sang with His disciples when they celebrated Passover, the Last Supper, instituting this sacrament we are about to observe. And during that meal, as Christ sang this psalm, He knew exactly what was to take place next: the betrayal, the arrest, the mocking, the flogging, and the crucifixion. And in the face of all that, He sang lines like:
“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
“The Lord is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation…”
“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
But, to put it somewhat crudely, this wasn’t simply a “pump up” song for Christ, one to make Him feel better or forget His coming troubles. For He also sang, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord… Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar.”
The Messiah of Israel knew who and what this psalm was fully about. Indeed, He is the blessed one who comes in the name of the Lord. But He was also about to become the final and definitive sacrifice, bound and placed on the altar.
And yet—He still pressed on with joy, willingly, for you…
This meal here is your salvation—it is the body and blood of Christ, broken and shed, for you.
So as you partake of Christ, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His steadfast love endures forever.
And come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
This morning I want to highlight an aspect of our communion practice that might be overlooked—our posture.
We partake of the Lord’s Supper sitting.Continue reading