Eucharist Presentation Three, January 31, 2009

EUCHARIST: Gathering
Listen to the audio of the teaching at
The key idea that I wanted to communicate in this presentation is that God’s presence can be most powerfully felt in the gathered community of Christ-followers.  So often spiritual leaders point to the most powerful encounters a person will experience with God happening one-on-one.  While God’s presence can be experienced in a powerful way individually, I believe God has set the church up so that there are many faces, made in the image of God and recreated in the image of Christ, that speak to the reality of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God and the call of God to a better life.  God becomes more real as we interact with flesh and blood who have been saved by the flesh and blood of Jesus.  Though I didn’t quote this passage in my presentation, the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 speaks to Jesus’ understanding that we are to see within everyone the face of Jesus.
And tied closely to the first idea is my belief that God is, more than anything else, in the business of restoring broken relationships, first, between humanity and divinity, and, second, between human and human.  Our faith is not real unless we are also in the reconciliation business.  So church has to be more than a place that I come to in order to get my needs met.  It must be a group to whom I am building relationships with and to whom I am inviting others into relationship.  This accomplishes the purpose of bringing the righteousness of God into the world.
Here are the key texts I looked at and points drawn from them:
Luke 22.15, 16, NIV: And [Jesus] said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.
Three Characteristics of a Reconciliation Mindset from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5.14-6.2
  1. We See God’s Face in the Other–Imago Dei
    1. Genesis 1.26, NIV: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness"
    2. 2 Corinthians 5.17, NIV: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."
  2. We Be God’s Uniters
    1. 2 Corinthians 5.20, NIV: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

  3. We Re-Veal God’s Righteousness

    1. 2 Corinthians 5.21, NIV: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus in John 13.34, 35, NIV: By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

4 thoughts on “Eucharist Presentation Three, January 31, 2009

  1. -"exclusionary push outward" "pressure ro conform to something you are not" that can be guilty feeling eh?-my father was so turned off by the church as a child he never returned. sad.-this is a powerful teaching so far.-i feel like our church is a genuine church.-anytime u can use "y\’all" during a teaching..its a good thing.-"God is one community" -i guess if God works thru others (which He does) we will be closer to God when we come together with others (untited)

  2. I like the idea of being part of a group of people who have a "Reconciliation Mindset." I think one of the biggest challenges we face comes from being made in the image of God. {Yes… That\’s what I said. Just keep reading for my explanation…) God is perfect and designed us to be perfect. But we\’re not. We all sense this disconnection from how things were meant to be, and that\’s why it\’s so easy to pick out each others\’ flaws–we know how we\’re all supposed to be. I think that\’s also the source of division–God cannot be where sin is. We were not intended to live in sin. That\’s why we humans have the tendency to see things as black and white; right or wrong. That\’s why we judge others and tend to place them in a category of "wrong" or "sinful" just because they aren\’t like us. I\’m glad Todd pointed out that only God can reconcile and restore humanity. Only through a close relationship with Him, and through growing in a community that fosters a close relationship with God, can we be a part of bringing reconciliation and restoration to ourselves and those around us. Once again, great sermon, Todd!

  3. I think you\’re right that we are frustrated with ours and others\’ flaws. And that frustration gets exacerbated in the church setting where you would expect that flaws would be significantly less than in the general population. I think we need to expose this as myth (thus, my recent presentations). And then we need to present a new reality of what church is: a place where we look for and honor where God is revealing himself in others\’ lives. Instead of coming into church expecting something close to perfection and being disappointed with the lack thereof, come into church understanding the plight of all humanity and then be encouraged, perhaps pleasantly surprised, when you are confronted with the joy or the grace or the compassion or the love of God breaking through the person next to you in the pew.So a first-draft slogan for church: Accept Humanity, Expect God

  4. Todd I really enjoyed this sermon and the video you used in the presentation was really cool too. Thanks for being who you are. God bless you!

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