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A Blessed Fellowship

Maundy Thursday

A Blessed Fellowship

1. With Jesus
2. With each other

Text: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in the Garden of Eden?  That must have been spectacular.  No weeds.  No sweat.  No back pain or arthritis.  No sadness.  No stress.  No calendars or appointments.  No worms in your apples.  No bills.  No high priced gasoline.  Only peace, perfection, and paradise.

But there’s one other aspect of the Garden of Eden that would have been fantastic.  Perfect harmony and communion with God.  Adam and Eve were created in God’s image.  That means that they were perfect, righteous, and holy like God.  What would it have been like to live in perfect peace with God?  No fear of God because you had nothing to hide because you hadn’t done anything wrong.  You knew his word and his will and you always kept them.  If God showed himself and appeared, you wouldn’t run away because it was normal and perhaps even expected.  You were in perfect harmony and fellowship and communion with God.  What was there to be afraid of?

That’s hard for us to imagine, impossible to imagine even, because all we know is the exact opposite.  All we know is fear of God and disharmony and disunity that come from shame and guilt.   Read the rest of this entry

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The Lord Gave His Meal . . .

Maundy Thursday

The Lord Gave His Meal

1. For remembrance
2. For forgiveness
3. For proclamation
4. For those prepared

Text:  1 Corinthians 11:23-28

Intro    

Many years ago, the Lord gave a special meal to his people.  It had food just like a regular meal, yet it had special instructions to accompany it.  Along with the special instructions came a command.  The command was to celebrate that meal in the same way over and over again so that God’s people would never forget what he had done.  That special meal was called Passover.

Around 3,500 years ago God gave instructions to Moses that were for all the people.  You heard them a few minutes ago in Exodus 12.  The people were to roast a firstborn lamb and eat it with better herbs and unleavened bread.  They were to take its blood and paint it on their doorposts.  Seeing that blood then, the angel would “Pass-over” that house and the family would be delivered from death and doom.  So every year after that the people were commanded to continue the Passover celebration.  It would be a continual reminder of God’s great love and mercy.  It would be a continual reminder that they were God’s people.  It would be a continual reminder of all that God had done.

Fast forward 1,500 years.  A prophet greater than Moses had come, as promised.  He had been preaching and teaching actively for three years.  Now the fulfillment of his mission was just hours away.  But first, he took time to fulfill another of God’s commands.  He celebrated the Passover.  He did so with his closest and dearest friends. Read the rest of this entry

Bible in a Year, Week 7: 1-2 Corinthians

This is the seventh weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians. It should only take about 12 minutes a day, or about 3-4 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read 1 & 2 Corinthians.

Background: Corinth was a city much like many modern metropolises in the United States. Today that is not the case. But back in Paul’s time, it had an estimated 200,000 residents. It had a booming economy. And the residents surely enjoyed “worldly” living. We might imagine that living in Corinth back then was akin to a Christian living in New York City, Miami, or San Francisco today.

Paul founded the Corinthian congregation on his second missionary journey. He went to Corinth after his stop in Athens. From there he went to Ephesus. While in Ephesus he learned of troubles in the congregation. It appears from the context that 1 Corinthians is actually the second letter that he wrote to the congregation. Much of it is very pointed, addressing certain issues specifically and directly.

Shortly after Paul wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia, perhaps around 56 A.D. From this third letter it appears that the second letter had affect and the congregation was changing. We can only pray that God works in our hearts through the wonderful message of these two letters in such a powerful way!

1 Corinthians 1: Paul begins this letter in the typical format for his letters. There are three parts to this opening: 1) Author, 2) Audience/Recipients, 3) Greeting. Though Paul has some harsh words for the Corinthians coming in the following chapters, he begins by thanking God for them and for their faith. But then he gets right into it. Immediately he appeals to these fellow Christians to be perfectly united in mind and thought. What a travesty it is in our churches when we experience what the Corinthians did–rifts, factions, fights, and quarrels! Read the rest of this entry