Truth Building Confidence
Truth Giving Confidence
† IHS †
May these words reveal the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, the grace that assures you of His love, His mercy and His desire that you spend forever with Him!
As people prepare to stand up from this rail, having received the very Body and Blood of Christ in the sacrament we call the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist, or simply Communion,
I follow a pattern, words long used in churches from here to Siberia, and on every continent, and even heart in space.
May this precious body and blood of Christ, strengthen your faith unto everlasting life. Depart in Peace.
I may adjust it a little here, and there, to match what God has revealed to us this day, through the readings, the worship, and the prayers. For example this day, it may sound like,
Dear friends, may this precious body and blood of our Lord, shed for you, build your confidence in God’s desire and promise to share eternity with you… and until that day, He will sustain you in His peace1
For what the Lord’s Supper does, it builds and strengthens our confidence in God. That is how the Lord’s Supper teaches you about Christ. For He is the truth that will give you the confidence that you have an eternity to spend with God.
That is the faith that Paul shared with Titus, his true son in the faith, and it the trust we have and share, in Christ Jesus.
It is the message we have been entrusted with sharing, as we journey through this life, as God’s promise of living with Him forever comes more into view.
The Guarantee of the Promise
As I look at scriptures like those we’ve heard and sung today, as you consider the words, you realize that the core message is a promise. A promise that we’ve been entrusted with, all of us, to share with the world. Chris and I can lecture for hours, days, weeks (?) on the promises of scripture that God has made. How He has bound Himself to those promises. That’s what the covenants are about, every agreement God makes with man in scripture.
They all boil down to one simple concept, to one promise. It is about the parties to the covenant. Not SuperBowl parties, but the participants, the community established and bound together in the covenant. Think about marriage, there are many promises made, many facets of it, but what really matters is the husband and wife are together, bound together as one, So it is with Biblical covenants.
Every covenant God has made has looked forward to one thing, that God would make us His people, that we would realize He is our Father, our God. That is the promise! We would live forever with Him, in that incredible relationship.
This is a incredible promise! Because we have done things that would ruin the relationship. We’ve done things we can justly be blamed for, that we may still struggle with guilt over. As we’ve confessed, we’ve not done things right, we haven’t loved our neighbors, or even our family.
Yet God’s promise, seen at the cross, is that sin won’t keep you away from Him. Yet those who lead in the church need to encourage you to live godly lives, and show those who oppose God’s ways where they are wrong. We’ve got to live lives that don’t compromise that – that testify that we believe God’s rule is the rule…..
But we always have to reveal that God will not just wipe us out, pour His wrath upon us, but rather will reach out to us, reveal His message of love, to reveal the promise – you are His people… He is your God.. forever!
At this right Time, it is revealed….
That is what was revealed at the cross! That is where Jesus died for all our sins to be forgiven. That we don’t have to live with anxiety caused by guilt or shame, where we don’t have to live, bound by resentment.
As we take this bread, this body of Christ and eat it, we know it was given for us. As we take this cup, this blood of Christ, we know His life was given, in order that all the debt of sin would be paid.
That this precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, is given to strengthen our faith, this faith that all who share, Paul, Titus, you and I share. His body, given and shed for us, the promise of spending time with God, forever.
Agnus Dei / Nunc Dimitis
As we get closer to communion, as you rise from the rails and return to you seats, hear the words of we sing before and after…..
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the World… Grant us peace!
I have seen my salvation….a light to guide the gentiles, the hope of all Israel.
As you do, may you faith, your confidence that comes from knowing the Truth, the Truth about God our Father, revealed it Christ grow, and may you realize His peace.