July 31, 2021

Holy Communion Unites Us In the Body of Christ (Proper 18)

 In the Readings, God can not completely forgive King David even when he repents and begs for mercy. Like many others King David had broken the Commandments about adultery and murder and “despised God”.  God came in person as Jesus, the divine-human, to create a new covenant of forgiveness. The Covenant of Jesus was that:

  • Jesus would give up His sinless divine-human life on the cross for the sins of the whole world
  • God would forgive the sins of those who believed in Jesus, repented and asked Jesus for forgiveness.
  • Jesus would also be the Judge of who could have the Holy Spirit and eternal spiritual life
  • Readings explain how we
    • “Come to believe in the one He has sent”
    • “Work for food that endures to eternal life”
    • Celebrate the Covenant of Jesus in Holy Communion

  1. How do we come to believe in Jesus?

We used to live in a Christian culture where people came to believe in Jesus as part of normal growing up. Now people are more likely to come to belief later in life when they meet a serious believer or have a personal life crisis. To come to belief we need a motivation, a hunger to get to know about Jesus. We also need to experience Him in our lives by:

  • Reading the Bible ourselves to know the whole story
  • Joining a Church and Bible study group, ask questions and come to know Jesus personally
  • Developing a daily prayer time
  • Prayer and experiences of Jesus leads to belief

2. What is this food that endures to eternal life?

We are what we eat. Junk food gives us junk bodies. Junk TV. movies, reading gives us a junk soul. Deception, sin and failures to love gives us a junk personal spirit. God does  not create junk and can not be in the presence of junk. God created us to be in a holy love relationship with Him and others. The food we need for this kind of physical and spiritual life  is the knowledge, understanding and wisdom Jesus gives us through the Holy Spirit:

  • Opening our eyes so we can understand the Bible and other reading that keeps our minds on the things of God
  • Prayer and worship experiences that build relationship
  • A Church community where we can have fellowship, ask questions, be corrected and be built into unity of faith

3. How does Holy Communion Unites Us In The Body of Christ?

Holy Communion is by definition a supernatural spiritual experience. It is an outward spiritual sign of an inner spiritual grace that transforms us into the body of Christ:

  • The prayers, Bible readings, teaching and Creed show us what we need to learn and do to grow spiritually
  • Confession and absolution is an opportunity for forgiveness as we insert our failures into the General Confession
  • We say "yes" to the Covenant of Jesus as we say "amen" to the prayers. 
  • Eucharistic Prayer strengthens our connection to Jesus and feeds us with the consecrated bread and wine:
    • Bread nourishes our spiritual life
    • Wine washes / cleanse our spirits
  • Holy Communion strengthens us to proclaim the Good News of God’s grace, love, forgiveness ad healing to all God’s children.

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