Main Point: Rediscovering church is about rediscovering communion and community around a table for a few.
Rediscovering Church is Rediscovering Communion
- Communion is a Sacrament – “a sacrament is a means by which God’s divine presence is actualized in the midst of a community of believers”– Michael Bird
- God’s divine presence is here with us in a way that is “actual,” not just “remembered”
Romans 12:5 ESV
“We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Rediscovering Church is Rediscovering Community
1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ESV
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Rediscovering Church is Rediscovering God’s Table
Luke 15:1-2 ESV
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.”
You always have a place at the Table
Luke 15:17-19 ESV
But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
- You imagine that you have “lost your place” as a son/daughter of God and now you are reduced to a servant
- You imagine that God is looking at you in disgust…but, this is not the way God is!!
- God says, you have not lost your place at my Table
You can find grace at the Table
Luke 15:20-21 ESV
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
- At this point, the religious leaders are expecting the boy to be slapped, stoned, disowned- that’s what religion does!
Luke 15:22-24 ESV
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
- When we decide to turn to God, it doesn’t matter how far we have traveled, the road back always includes a Father who will run
You can extend grace at the Table
Luke 15:25-32 ESV
“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.” But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, “Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” And he said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”
- Rediscovering Church is like the prodigal who comes home to a running Father, a gracious Father, and a huge party