the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Year B - Ordinary 20

Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58

Come to the Table

We know that the very core of our faith is that Jesus' body was broken for us on the cross, that he shed his blood for us, but that he rose again from the dead and is alive. The deepest way for us to share in his death and resurrection is through Holy Communion, the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Here the body of Christ is symbolically given to us as our food; Here his blood is symbolically made present, spilled out to forgive our sins and to fill us with Jesus' life and strength and joy. Let us celebrate this Communion with gratitude, for here the Lord gives himself totally to us.

"Come, the table is ready!" In our homes this is the invitation that brings us together as a family to share our food and our love. "Come, the table is ready!" is Jesus' invitation to us in the Celebration of Holy Communion. He takes our human bread and symbolically makes it into the sign of the giving of himself: "Take this, all of you, and eat it: This is my body, this is I myself giving myself for you." Let us sit at the table of the Lord and break his bread, and learn from him to become each other's food and drink of life and joy.

How fortunate we are that we have the Lord’s Supper! Here is Jesus assuring us: I am with you and live among you, and give you not just any gift but myself to eat on the journey of life. Eat my bread of life and drink my wine of joy. This is I who give myself for you. In this way he also makes us capable of giving ourselves to God and to one another. Let this be a celebration of thanksgiving with the Lord among us.

Be Present at Our Table, Lord
by John Cennick, 1741

Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
Thy creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
For life and health and every good;
By Thine own hand may we be fed;
Give us each day our daily bread.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our good,
But more because of Jesus’ blood;
Let manna to our souls be giv’n,
The Bread of Life sent down from Heav’n.

Thanks be to God.

Let us Pray
Loving Father,
how could we know the depth of your love
if your Son had not become flesh of our flesh
and blood of our blood?
How could we ever have the courage
to live for one another and if necessary to die
if he had not given up his body
and shed his blood for us?
Thank you for letting him stay with us in the
Celebration of Holy Communion
and making himself there our daily bread.
On our journey through life
let this bread be the food that empowers us
to live and die as he did,
for one another and for you,
our living God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Blogger Christopher said...

thank you Joel for your prayers. peace to you.

8/19/2006 10:48 PM  

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