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Monthly Letter from the Pastor

August 2023

Letter from the Pastor

Letter from the Pastor:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
-1 Corinthians 11:23-25

In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes to a church that is struggling. They are struggling to live in a way that honors God. They are struggling in having unity in the church. They are struggling to even follow Jesus. In the midst of addressing those many struggles, Paul stops to remind them of the thing that binds them all together: the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. But he does so by reminding them of something that Jesus said on the night that he
was betrayed. He reminds them of a practice that Jesus himself intended to be carried on: communion. Jesus instituted communion in the upper room with his disciples as a continual practice that the disciples and followers of Jesus should do. (See Matt. 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20, and John 6:53-58). For Paul, proper practice of communion was the answer to the problems in the church at Corinth. It would help their struggle with
following Jesus because it would be a constant reminder of His sacrifice for them. It would help them with their unity because they would all be taking it together. The practice was helpful for the church at Corinth and became a regular practice of the church throughout the ages.

But, the practice of communion was not always a great thing. In later years, it became a tool that the church would use as a means to salvation, not simply a reminder of it. With this kind of definition, those who provided communion held the power, which is why a group of reformers sprang up in the early 1500s to combat this falsehood, reclaiming the proper practice. Because of the controversy surrounding the practice, George Fox, upon
starting a new movement called “Quakers” or “Friends,” placed emphasis on the spiritual reality behind the physical practice and therefore decided to do away with the physical practice within his movement altogether. This may have been wisdom at the time, but the fact still remains: Jesus Himself instituted a physical practice meant to be continued by his disciples and followers. As believers, who are far removed from the controversy of George
Fox’s day, we can reclaim this practice not as a means of salvation but as a gift of grace to remember Jesus death while doing something that He Himself did in his earthly body: drinking of the cup and eating of the bread. Because of this conviction, we will be taking communion together as a church on Sunday, August 20th, directly following the preaching of the Word. Please join us for this great gift of God’s grace!

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