Sermon for Sunday August 15th, 2010

 

Communion, what is it? by Gary Taber

Matthew 28:1-28:21

Pray: Lord let the words of my mouth and the mediation of all our hearts be acceptable to you Lord our rock and salvation.

I was watching Judge Mathis on TV this past week and a couple was suing another for unpaid rent.

The Plaintiff began by saying to the judge that they were Christians and they rented an apartment to the defendants who are also Christians. However for some reason after they were living in the apartment six months they stopped paying their rent.

Judge Mathis stopped him and asked did you say you are a Christian and the defendants are also?

Yes the man replied I did say that.

Judge Mathis then asked then why are you here today in my court suing another Christian? I mean do not Christians believe in forgiving one another?

There was laughter from the audience and the man was speechless and did not know what to say in reply.

What would you have said to the judge? (pause)

I was horrified when I watched this on TV as Judge Mathis made a joke about being Christian and about the doctrine of forgiveness on national TV.

How did or would you react to this if you saw it on TV?

If I was the plaintiff my response would have been deliberate and swift.

I would have said yes I am a Christian and I believe in forgiveness and know the Lord forgiveness those who repent and ask for forgiveness.

We all need forgiveness as we are all sinners.

However forgiveness does not relieve people of their consequences of their sins.

That is why God allows temporal law and authority on earth such as your court. Otherwise being the sinful people we are there would total chaos here on earth. (pause)

Today we will offer one of the Lutheran sacraments, the sacrament of Holy Communion. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

In your bulletin please find your insert titled Holy Communion and take it out as we look at it together. (pause)

There are ten questions that we should all be asking ourselves as we prepare to take communion. Open the insert and you will the questions on page 3.

They are:

1. Have you been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

2. Do you understand the meaning of Holy Communion?

3. Have you self examined your self prior to coming to the Lordís Supper?

4. Do you confess being a sinner and ask for forgiveness?

5. Do you believe Jesus Christ the only Son of God is your savior?

6. Do you believe in the true presences of our Lord Jesus Christ in, with and under the bread and wine of Holy Communion?

7. Are you at peace with everyone, if you are not are you seeking Godís comfort, presence and strength through this Holy Meal to resolve them?

8. Are you willing to share the burdens of others who receive this Holy Communion with you?

9. Do you desire and intend to lead a more Godly and Christ like life?

10. Are you hungry to take, eat and drink the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins?


As you can see some of these questions are quite easy to answer and some may be not be so easy. So letís go through then together this morning.

1. Have you been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Why do you think this is necessary to receive Communion?

Matthew 28: Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples to all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Ē

This is the second sacrament that the Lord commanded for us to do, be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then He later commands us to take eat and drink which is the second sacrament.

2. Do you understand the meaning of Holy Communion?

This is a tad harder question. Do you know what Scripture says if you take communion in an unworthy manner?

1 Corinthians 11: Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on him self.

That is why this morning we discussing what Holy Communion is all about. Because taking communion in an unworthy manner is mocking Christ and brings judgment on one self.

3. Have you self examined your self prior to coming to the Lordís Supper?

4. Do you confess being a sinner and ask for forgiveness?

1 John 1: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We must acknowledge our sinful being and repent confessing our sins asking for forgiveness. If not remember what Numbers 32 says: Your sin will find you out.


5. Do you believe Jesus Christ the only Son of God is your savior?

6. Do you believe in the true presences of our Lord Jesus Christ in, with and under the bread and wine of Holy Communion?


It is important that you realize when receiving the bread and wine that the true presence of our Lord Jesus Christ is with, in and under the bread and wine as we consume it. Christ is present!!!! Look at the back of your bulletin and see what it says.

Christ welcomes you to this meal of the baptized. All baptized Christians who believe in the true presence of our Lord Jesus Christ are invited to partake of this holy meal.

Those who are not baptized are invited to come forward for a blessing by simply crossing your hands over your chest.

It is important to understand that we are receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ who is truly present.

7. Are you willing to share the burdens of others and forgive those who receive Holy Communion with you?

8. Do you desire and intend to lead a more Godly and Christ like life?


Matthew 5:23-24 íTherefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift".


What does this mean? It means as you come for communion you should be at peace with everyone. You harbor no hatred or vengeance in your heart. If you are struggling with this or similar issues, you are seeking Godís comfort, presence, and strength through this Meal to resolve them.

Lastly, as Colossians 3: 12-14 says As Godís chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


Now for the final and most important question (pause)

Are you hungry and ready to properly take, eat and drink the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins?

(pause)

Let us pray: Lord let us understand your Holy Meal and always receive it in a worthy manner. AMEN