Thursday, January 24, 2008
Setting: At the end of their adventure, Aslan crowns the four children as kings and queens of Narnia. Aslan, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, is a representation of Jesus as the Lion of Judah--Strong, fearsome, gentle, kind, a savior.
When Jesus gave us the memorial meal which we call "The Lord's Supper", he used these words, in Matt 26:27-29
27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." NIV
When we share in communion, we often think back asking for forgiveness, but Jesus also invites us to think forward to that day when he comes again to bring us victoriously into his Kingdom and invites us to reign with him. 2 Tim 2:12says, 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. NIV
This morning we invite you to look forward to that time when you too shall reign with Jesus. It may not feel like it right now, but the Lord's Supper reminds that we are victorious.
Friday, January 4, 2008
The church is God's family. Jesus is passionately in love with it and is pleased when we all gather, set aside our differences and celebrate His love for us. Look what the apostle Paul says in
Eph 4:1-6 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.NIV
As the family of God this morning, let us become an island of togetherness, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, bearing with one another, through all of our foibles and idiosycrasies, in love.
As you share the bread and the juice this morning, will you look around you and celebrate the other brothers and sisters that God has brought into your life. In the name of Jesus and by his death, would you raise your cup in a toast to Jesus Christ and His family.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
In this clip from Secret of the Cave, A town, filled with unhappiness and disjointed relationships is brought together by the mysterious ringing of the church bell, unheard for many years.
Each year we mark the beginning again of the 365 1/4 day cycle of the earth around the sun. But even more, the New Year for us marks a time to begin again. The prophet Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations reminds us that God's cycle of grace is a repeating one.
Lam 3:22-2622 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. NIV
This morning, as we partake of communion, let us remember that God's grace, his love, his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Notice that our Scripture says, it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
A town is torn by anger, hatred, and dysfunction, as you meditate on this scripture and the clip, let the love of God and his forgiveness be renewed again in your life.
Then clip. after clip. let the serving of emblems proceed without further word.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates said that at his trial for heresy. He was on trial for encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and think for themselves. The sentence was death but Socrates had the option of suggesting an alternative punishment. He could have chosen life in prison or exile, and would likely have avoided death.But Socrates believed that these alternatives would rob him of the only thing that made life useful: Examining the world around him and discussing how to make the world a better place. Without his “examined life” there was no point in living. So he suggested that Athens reward him for his service to society. The result, of course, is that they had no alternative and were forced to vote for a punishment of death.
Luckily, we don’t have to choose between an examined life and death. But the sad thing is, most people avoid leading an examined life. It’s not that they don’t have time or make time. They actively avoid examining their lives.People who do examine their lives, who think about where they’ve been, how they got here, and where they’re going, are much happier people. No one has all the answers. And no one’s life is free from trouble and strife or sin.
The unexamined life is the unforgiven life. The apostle Paul says, 1 Cor 11:27-28 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.NIV
Building upon that theme, John says in 1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. NIVOne reason we avoid examining our lives is because we do not want to confront our sins. To confess our sin is to agree with God, "You're right-- I was wrong". It's not always easy, but it is necessary for us to be able to live in 2008 with a clear conscience before God. I urge you this morning, to examine your life, confront your sin, agree with God that you have sinned, and then lay it at the feet of Jesus and let him forgive you.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Start with Clip
That clip was from the Chronicles of Narnia. Lucy and her siblings receive weapons of spiritual warfare. CS Lewis intended that we should understand Aslan to be Jesus, the Lion of Judah.
At Christmas it is always tempting to think of soft cuddly Jesus in a manger. We have bought into a Hallmark Christmas rather than a true birth of Jesus experience.
When Herod became aware that Wisemen were worshipping Jesus, he immediately wanted to find and kill him.
Christmas was God, as an undercover, or rather under swaddling clothes, agent, coming to earth to fight the ultimate fight and defeat Satan so that we could live forever. Christmas ushered in the age of Aslan, the lion of Judah, who will sit upon the throne and right all wrongs and bring peace for eternity.
As the clip says, Long live Aslan. This morning, as we partake of the cup, let us raise our cups and say, Long live Jesus, Long live the King.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I must warn you that the Wingclips clip is a bit long, but it is very powerful.
We remember so easily at Christmas that God came in the form of a child, but we forget why...
The 3 gifts help us refocus on the ultimate meaning of Christmas: Gold-power/king of kings; Frankincense-incense for priests. he's our intercessor/go between making God and His Holy Spirit accessable to all of us; Myrrh--spice for embalming, he came to be the sacrifice for our sins. Which is why we take communion. to remember he wasnt just a baby...grown to be a good, holy man...but he was God himself giving up his life for us, so that we may know that we have eternal life.
To be absolutely correct, we're not sure there were three kings, only three gift, we don't know if they rode camels, although it is probable, and we don't know if they came to the manger or at a little later time to the house where they were living--most likely, but artistic and popular assumptions aside, three gifts were brought by wise men to worship Jesus.
This morning, let us focus on Jesus, King, Priest, and one who willingly sacrificed his life for us.
Video clip: http://wingclips.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16552&category_id=549
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Begin with the clip below:
It's free from Wingclips.com ( for a low res version) If you are going to use these meditations, you should get a Wingclips account as many of the meditations will use Wingclips.
Then after it over, give people a few seconds to let it sink in before speaking. The clip is 1:17 long.
Use the thoughts below as a spring board. Don't just read them. Remember, you only have 90 seconds left after the clip is over to make your point, so you can't go very long in your thoughts.
When we think at the Lord's Supper about Christ's death, what do we think about, his suffering, the Passion of the Christ so graphically grabbed us with it. Do we think about his loneliness on the cross--"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
When we think about death, we are often afraid. We are afraid that there will be nothing, that all of our efforts in this life are gone. We do all we can to postpone our death, sometimes the most devout of us, is afraid of dying, yet, as we think of Christ's death on the cross today, let us remember what The author of Hebrews says,
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil- 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. NIV
When we remember the death of Christ during communion time, all of those thoughts about Christ dying are accurate, but this morning, let us remember, that by His death, he was destroying the power of death and releasing us from the fear of dying. Most of us will still go to great means to prolong our life here on earth, but because of Christ, we no longer have to be afraid.
Prayer: Thanks for freeing us from the power of death and releasing us into eternal life.
Thanks for the suffering that you did for us. For the pain you bore.