14 Apr Christ Speaks to His Church – Words of Grace – April 14, 2022
This Good Friday and Easter weekend, let’s gather around Jesus and hear what he is saying to his church.
Have you ever noticed how many times Jesus is at a table or a feast in the Gospels? One of his great signs in the Gospel of John is at a wedding. He talked a lot about food and drink. Jesus did much of his teaching in these informal gatherings. Here, he spoke life-giving and church-shaping truth that still speaks to us today.
On a recent walk, I was praying for our congregation, Grace Community Church. I was also thinking about our Good Friday and Easter services. I thought of what it would be like if Jesus gathered us around a table to share a meal. What would he say to us? How would we respond?
I am sure that my pondering was partly due to the nature of life right now. We are still very much in troubling times. Every generation says it is a troubled one. And every generation is correct. Troubled times are a given all the time.
Ours is a troubled world on many fronts- personally, politically, culturally, and within the people called the church of the living God. So, I have been wondering what Christ our Savior and Lord might say to his church today.
I will quickly say that I do not claim any special word from the Lord for our times, nor to have any specific insight into what the church needs now. I do, however, have a Bible.
Jesus’ church has been troubled before. In fact, the night before Jesus died and the evening of the day he arose are two of the most troubled times his followers have ever experienced. At both times Jesus spoke to them at a meal. The gathered disciples heard the words that settle their hearts and set the course of the church until he comes again.
The night before his death, Jesus said he was pouring out his blood to secure the new covenant relationship with his people. At the Passover meal, he took bread and a cup of wine and said he was giving his body and shedding his blood to forgive sins, restore sinners to right relationship with God, give a new heart for love and obedience to God, create a new community of people who bear his name, and secure a future kingdom where all things will be new.
The evening of the day he rose from the dead, he met his disciples who were still in disbelief. To prove he was real and alive, he took some of the fish they were eating and ate it in front of them. Then he spoke. He blessed them with peace. He called them to believe. He commissioned them to give witness to his death and resurrection. And he promised them the Holy Spirit for the presence and power of God.
The words that Jesus spoke to his troubled church are the ones he is still speaking today. He is gathering his people again and again around the communion table. He is showing up every Lord’s Day as we gather around the bread of his word. He speaks the truths of the kingdom of God and calls us to live by them while on this earth, until he comes again.
So once again this Good Friday and Easter Sunday we gather around Jesus to hear his words for our time, in our troubles, that we may be nourished by grace to live with hope.
Pray with me today for ears to hear the word of Christ. Gather with me this weekend to listen to him.
He is risen,