The Lord's Table

Examining The History And Importance Of The Lord's Supper

Charles Homer
Feb 6, 2022    38m
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No matter what you call it, the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, Communion, the Eucharist, this sacrament is a crucial element in your relationship with Jesus. It is a time to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross, to look forward to his return, and to reflect on our personal relationship with our Savior. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Charles Homer: [00:00:00] What's up, Venture? My name is Charles Homer, I'm the High School Pastor here, I'm so excited to be joining you this weekend. And this weekend, we're kind of taking a brief break from our Romans series. I'm going to be teaching this week, and coming up in the next three weeks, Tim's going to be in a special series about love, sex, relationships, all of those issues, bringing clarity to them. I'm excited about that, and then we are going to hop back into our series in Romans.

Charles Homer: [00:00:26] But for this weekend, we're going to be focusing on the Lord's Table, communion. Throughout church history, that idea of the Lord's Table, there's a couple of names that have gone along with it, whether you want to call it the Eucharist, whether you want to call it the Lord's Table, or the Lord's Supper, or even Communion, in Jude is even called the Love Feast, we're going to be talking about all of these things. And as I use the different terms, I'm not trying to necessarily make a theological point about it, just wanting to drive home this point, that Communion is important.

Charles Homer: [00:00:59] And when I talk about communion, I'm not sure what kind of history with the church or with communion itself that you have, but I was raised in the church. And I don't know if this was my dad having a little bit of foresight and thinking, like, man, this kid is going to be in the ministry for himself one day, and he was trying to train me to be where I am now, but he always had me be the ushers in our church growing up. And so passing the offering is easy enough, right? You just put the little tray down, and they go back and forth. But whenever its communion, things got a little bit more dicey, it was a little bit more stressful. And honestly, ushers today have it way too easy, right? With those little sealed cups and with the bread in them already, it's way too easy for them, they just hand them out before the service.

Charles Homer: [00:01:47] But back in the day, like back in the 90s, when you were doing church, you had those big silver plates and on the silver plate, there were like those nine million little cups. And for an elementary-aged kid trying to pass these things out and make sure you didn't spill them all over anywhere, make sure that nobody was, you know, like putting their hands all over the other cups, it was a stressful endeavor. And just made this idea of communion like, ah, I have to do that again this Sunday. And not only was communion a little stressful for me but also, since I was raised in the church, it also became something that I was just complacent about and honestly apathetic.

Charles Homer: [00:02:26] Fast forward, a couple of years ago, I had the chance to do a nine-month spiritual direction cohort with a group of pastors and ministry leaders. And for one of the nights, the emphasis was on the Lord's Supper. And for that night, they switched things up just a little bit, instead of giving us those cute little cups of grape juice and the piece of cracker that's in there already. They set up a table, and as they were talking about communion, they took the tablecloth off of the table that was covering the contents, and there were these giant rolls of artisan baked sourdough bread from a great bakery, and then along with that, there were big glasses filled with wine or juice. And they just said, hey, tonight we're focusing on communion, but we really want this to be special for you guys as pastors, as ministry leaders, we don't want this to be something that you guys are officiating, something that you guys are performing yourselves and worried about other people, this is just for you.

Charles Homer: [00:03:32] They read the passage that we're going to be reading in a little bit, and after talking about communion for a little bit, they distributed the elements, and what they want us to focus on was the fact that Jesus was present with us, that his presence was more than enough. With those subtle little changes, a bigger piece of bread, and a bigger glass for the ceremony, something happened inside of me that kind of like shook off the complacency, shook off the apathy, and from that point, there's really just been a passion that I have to share the joys and the goodness of the Lord's Table, and I'm excited to do that here this weekend for our Venture Church body.

Charles Homer: [00:04:18] If you have a Bible, open it up to Luke chapter 22. Luke chapter 22, we are just going to read a few verses together. Starting in verse number 7, here's what Luke says, "Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” 9They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?" It goes and gives some directions for where the Passover is to be prepared.

Charles Homer: [00:04:49] We'll skip forward. Now that they're in the upper room, the preparations have been made, here's what Jesus says, "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."

Charles Homer: [00:05:15] Let's pray together. Dear God, thank you for this chance that we have to celebrate communion, to participate in the Lord's Table. And God, even as we're watching this on our phones, in our homes, on our computer, Lord, I pray that this space would intersect with your presence, that you would meet us here. God, that you would use these elements of bread and wine to bring us your life, to bring us your presence, and we'd be satisfied in that. I pray these things in your name. Amen.

Charles Homer: [00:06:04] Communion is one of those things where you have a role to play in it. Where depending on how intentional, how involved, how focused you are, you really affect the outcome of what grace you receive through this sacrament. And sacrament is just a fancy word, it means a special way that God provides grace for us. But as we come into this opportunity, if we're just passive, apathetic, and just think like, OK, I've done this a million times before, man, there's really an opportunity that we miss out on a good gift that God has for us. And so for our time together, I really want to focus in on the Lord's Table.

Charles Homer: [00:06:45] I'm going to give a couple of introductory remarks, and then I'm going to talk about what communion is for. And at the end of it, we're going to be celebrating communion together. If you haven't gotten your elements already, man, go ahead and pause the video, run off, go grab yourself a glass of wine, a glass of juice, grab yourself a piece of bread or some crackers, bring enough for the family and we'll be taking communion together at the end of our time together.

Charles Homer: [00:07:11] Just as we get started, here's a couple of notes that I wanted to make. One, communion is important. And as we look at communion, man, it is prominent in multiple places, both in the scriptures and in church history. For Jesus, communion was something that was very important. This passage that we just read reminds us, that Jesus, on the night that he was going to be betrayed, took the time to gather his disciples together. And in Matthew and in Luke, Jesus says that he earnestly desired to eat this meal with the disciples, this was something that was a big deal for Jesus. And then for Jesus's followers right in the beginning of the early church, we see that this was a big deal for them. On the first day of Pentecost, when 3,000 people came to know the Lord and were baptized, here's what we see about the early church. That those who received his word were baptized, and they were added that day about three thousand souls.

Charles Homer: [00:08:11] What did those three thousand souls do? What was the early practice there in that first-century church? They devoted themselves to the apostle's teaching; we still do a lot of that as we open up the Bible and read and learn what the apostles have been teaching since Jesus gave it to them; and to the fellowship that's bringing people together, and to the breaking of bread and prayer. From the beginning of the early church, this idea of the Lord's Table, the breaking of bread was an integral part of the worship of the early church. Jesus started at the early church, practiced it, and then even as we go through the centuries and we look at church history, and we look at theologians, this idea of communion played an important role in theology.

Charles Homer: [00:08:53] Here's what Thomas Aquinas says about the Lord's Table, the Eucharist, which is another name for the Lord's Table, is the consummation of the whole spiritual life. Thomas Aquinas, who was an important figure in defining theology for the Christian Church, says, hey, there's nothing more important than this idea of communion. And then Charles Spurgeon, my namesake, says this, "I think that the moments when we are nearest to heaven are those we spend at the Lord's Table." But even though communion is important, I also think that we'd all agree that communion is frequently sidelined, communion is frequently just pushed off to the side, and it's one of those things that we are like, all right, are we doing this again? Is this the add onto the service that's going to put five more minutes into the service time? Is this going to make me a little bit late for my engagements?

Charles Homer: [00:09:47] And it might be a little less sidelined on a Sunday morning when it's adults in a sanctuary, but especially for my role, I work with high school students. Man, part of the programing that high schoolers are expecting, is something that's fun, man, great worship, short teaching if at all possible. But in that pursuit of having fun, having enough time for there to be relationships between the high school students, and all of that, one of the things that frequently gets pushed to the side is this idea of communion.

Charles Homer: [00:10:19] I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Kevin DeYoung, and he reminded me, that as the church was looking at sacraments, the specific ways that God brings grace to his people, there are two specific sacraments that the church recognizes, the sacrament of baptism and the sacrament of communion. And communion was specifically given to the church as a means of gaining more of God's grace, I'm not talking about salvation. I'm talking about a way of experiencing Jesus, especially given to the church for us to experience his grace. Kevin de Young would say, the church wasn't given journaling, and I would add to that list, even though it's important that we have a time of Bible reading, even though it's important for us to gather together as a church, even though it's important for us to be continuing our theological education and trying to think like, hey, what does the Bible actually teach? All of those things, while they're good, we're not specifically given by God as a means for us to experience more grace from him, what he gave to us was a meal, was communion. And so I want to point out again, communion should be a main focus for us.

Charles Homer: [00:11:35] And it makes sense that Jesus would give us a meal to remember him by. As we look at how food is used throughout the scripture, going all the way back to the garden, it was food that first introduced sin into the world. And then in our world, even today, we see all of the hurt and disaster that's caused by an abundance of food or by a lack of food. An abundance of food in our country and in our world, where 30 to 40 percent of the food that is in the American market, just goes to waste, gets thrown away, isn't even used. While at the same time, there are many people in the Third World country where it's not because there isn't enough food, but because distribution is tied up, and there are wars, and there's political maneuvering happening, food isn't getting to people. And so throughout the world, this idea of food is an issue. So throughout the redemption story, God uses food as a way to remind his people that, man, here's what God's done, here's what's important.

Charles Homer: [00:12:47] In the Old Testament, there are multiple feasts that God instates for his people to be reminded of how he's worked in the past. There was the Passover meal that was instated when the Israelites left Egypt. There was the Feast of Weeks, which was forty-nine days after Passover. There was the Feast of Booths, where all of the Israelites would come out of the house, they'd set up temporary shelters in order to remember the 40 years of wandering. Every week there were meals that were part of the Sabbath, where God's people would remember, hey, today is not for working, today is to enjoy God's presence. And throughout redemptive history, we see God using food, using meals, to help us to remember what he's done for us.

Charles Homer: [00:13:32] And as we look forward, we realize there's going to be meals coming up as God culminates his redemptive history. Here's what it says in Revelation, "The angel said to me..." That's John, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” As we look forward, man, there's a meal coming. Where all of God's bride, his church, is brought together and there's going to be a marriage supper of the Lamb, a meal with Jesus is in our future. And that intimacy, that closeness, that space where we get to share life together is really God's intention for us. Here's what it says again, in Revelation, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." What Jesus intends for us, what he desires for us, is this intimacy, sitting down with him, having a meal, becoming friends, having that closeness there.

Charles Homer: [00:14:31] If communion is that important, and if there's a way that we can either be intentional about it and enjoy the benefits, or there's a way that we could be apathetic about it and kind of close ourselves off from receiving the grace that is intended for us, man, what can we do in order to really make the most of this sacrament, of this means of grace?

Charles Homer: [00:14:58] For the rest of our time together, what I want to focus on is what communion is for. And communion is designed in such a way that, again, we have a role to play, we have something to do. It's not just that little bread and cracker, and it's not this magical benefit that we simply get something from drinking the juice and eating the cracker, but we have a participation in this sacrament as well. And so what is communion for?

Charles Homer: [00:15:27] Communion is, first off, for remembering. Paul, in 55 A.D., is writing to the Corinthian Church, and already in just those 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, communion is something that is entrenched in church practice. When you go back even earlier, when you go back to church practice manuals, one of the ones that was found in the 19th century is this document called the Didache, the Didache either dates back to the late first century or the early first century. And in the Didache, there are ways that we are taught to practice the Lord's Supper, something that was part of the early church from the beginning. But here's what Paul says about how to remember the Lord's Table. He says, "For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you." Paul says, hey, this idea of communion isn't something that Paul just made up, it was something that he received from the Lord, "That the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” What is communion for? Communion is a time specifically set aside for us to remember, and specifically what we are remembering is His broken body and His shed blood for us.

Charles Homer: [00:17:02] Back when I was 13, I was part of a Christian camp. My dad was the speaker at the camp, and so I thought, well, perfect, I've already heard all of his sermons, so I don't need to worry about all of that. I'm just here to have some fun and enjoy the camp experience. But I remember, it was either the second or the third night of that camp out in Brown City, Michigan, dad got up and he preached a sermon that I had never heard before. And in the sermon, dad just walked through the crucifixion. And when we say that Jesus was crucified for us, and we ask ourselves, what does that practically mean? Dad just went through the gospel accounts and highlighted the steps that he took on that night of his passion and reminded us of what it meant that Jesus died for us. And that's an important part, as we remember, as we take communion, what Jesus did for us. And hopefully, as you're listening to this sermon and I ask you to remember what Jesus did for you, there's this idea and there are images in your imagination that call back to what Jesus actually did for us.

Charles Homer: [00:18:13] On that day that my dad preached the sermon, he just walked through that night. He started up in the upper room where Jesus was watching the disciples' feet. And from there, after taking the Passover meal, he crosses out of the city of Jerusalem down across the brook Kidron, up the other side into the garden of Gethsemane. And Gethsemane is where the spiritual agony begins, it's when Jesus begins to realize what is immediately coming in God's plan for him. And he brings his disciples together, and his soul is in anguish, and he says, hey, guys, pray with me. And then he goes off by himself and he prays, and he prays multiple times that God would take this cup, this suffering, away from him. But he ends the prayer with, not my will, but thine done.

Charles Homer: [00:19:03] Luke records for us the difficulty of that moment, saying that in that stress and in that anxiety, sweat drops of blood begin coming out of Jesus's forehead, and an angel comes to comfort him. It is in the garden that we see the soldiers coming, coming to arrest Jesus, and Judas pulls him out and identifies him with a kiss. And Jesus doesn't go with the soldiers because they are overpowering him, Jesus, when he asks the soldiers who they're looking for, and they responded, we're here to find Jesus. He says, I am. All the soldiers fall down, and then he willingly gives himself up to be arrested.

Charles Homer: [00:19:41] After he's arrested, he's taken to Annas's house. Annas was the father-in-law of the High Priest during that time, and that's where the trial begins. From Annas's house, they go to Caiaphas House, and that's where the violence begins. When Jesus makes it clear that he considers himself to be the Son of God, the beating begins. He's blindfolded, without knowing which direction the punches are coming from, the punches land on his face, in Isaiah, it tells us that Jesus' beard was ripped out of his face, all night long, the violence continues.

Charles Homer: [00:20:14] In the morning, from Caiaphas house they take Jesus, and they take him to Pilate. Pilate doesn't find anything wrong with Jesus, but says, all right, well, maybe Herod will be able to do something with him and sends him over to Herod. Herod doesn't know what to do with Jesus either, but in order to make a kind of show, a play of this situation puts the red coat on Jesus to show his royalty and sends them back to Pilate. Pilate at that point goes out to the people, hey, what do you guys want to do with this person? And the crowd starts chanting out, crucify him, crucify him. Pilate, still desiring to find some way of excusing Jesus, sends him out to be flogged. And the Bible just really quickly says that he sends him out to be flogged, but from history, we know the pain and the agony that came with that flogging. Where Roman soldiers would take the whip, probably a cat of nine tails, where nine pieces of leather are coming out from this whip, at the end of the whip attached were pieces of rock, pieces of bone, shards of glass, and they would whip it into the back and try to cause as much damage, bring this prisoner as close to death as humanly possible, without killing him.

Charles Homer: [00:21:31] It's after the beating that they take the crown of thorns, place it on his head, give him a scepter, and then take that scepter and they use it to beat the crown of thorns and even further, and they mock him, saying, is this really the Son of God? Do you say that you're a king? After the flogging, Jesus is led down the Villa de la Rosa, and as he falls, they call Simon of Cyrene to pick up his cross and Jesus marched to Golgotha, where they are going to crucify him. There he's stretched out, nails, placed through his wrists, and nails placed through his feet, and on the cross, there he suffers for hours. And on the cross, the difficulty is not only the pain but is also the difficulty of breathing. That as you're stretched out, your lungs will naturally take in air, but in order for you to be able to exhale, you have to pull on those nails, push on the nails of your feet, in order to close the chest cavity in order to exhale. And after hours of that, Jesus cries out, it's finished, and dies.

Charles Homer: [00:22:40] So when I say communion is for remembering, what I mean is communion is a time that we get to rehearse the story. That we don't flippantly say Jesus died for me, but we remember what is entailed when we say those words that Jesus died for me, that Jesus endured the agony of Gethsemane, that he allowed himself to be beaten, he allowed himself to be nailed to a tree, he allowed himself to be spit upon, that Jesus died for me. Communion is a time when we stop and we pause and we think like, OK, we know that there's a lot that goes into being a Christian, but one of the fundamental things is that Jesus died for us, and the communion is a time to stop and remember? Paul says, "Do this in remembrance of me."

Charles Homer: [00:23:35] Not only is communion a time for remembrance, but communion is also a time for looking forward. Communion is a time for looking forward, Paul again says this, he says, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." Not only is communion a time to look back and say, like, man, I remember what Jesus did for me, but it's also time to look forward and remember, Jesus is coming again. In John 14. Jesus said it clearly, he said, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.".

Charles Homer: [00:24:20] Communion is a time that we especially focus on the words, "God your kingdom come, your will be done." Jesus, even so, come quickly, as John said at the end of Revelation. Communion is a time where we remember and bring back into our memories that Jesus made us a promise, he's coming again. Communion is also for reflecting, and here's what we mean by that, a personal time of just introspection. Where are you at? What's going on in your soul? What are those things that you and Jesus have some business to do? Where are the areas where maybe it's not between you and God, but it's between you and your husband, you and your wife, you and your kids, you and your coworker, you and your friends, that there are issues of contention there are areas of sin that you need to get right with? Even Jesus, as he was telling his parables, talked about the man who brought his offering to the altar, but remembered there was something wrong with his brother. Jesus' recommendation was to leave your gift there, go back, be reconciled to your brother, and then come to give your offering.

Charles Homer: [00:25:26] The altar that we have as Christians is the Lord's Table, not that we are offering Jesus as a sacrifice anew, but as an opportunity for us to remember what Jesus has done for us, and part of that is reflecting. Paul says this, "Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."

Charles Homer: [00:25:57] And that's where I want to pause, I remember coming into my senior year of Bible. On the first day of class, our Bible teacher opened up to this verse and just said, like, hey, what do you think this verse is teaching? I remember reading it a couple of times and kind of being shocked by it and thinking, I know that Paul is talking about communion here. And I always thought Communion, it's a sacrament, it's supposed to be a means of grace, it's supposed to be something that benefits us. But it seems like Paul says just as much as there's a way to do communion right and there's a way to receive grace, there's also a way that it goes terribly wrong. And in the misuse of communion, we bring judgment on ourselves, and because of that, there's weakness, there's sickness, and Paul goes even as far as saying some people have died. I have no desire to create a sense of anxiety and constantly wondering, like, have I confessed all of my sins, is there anything wrong that's within me? I think an overactive self-reflection can be a mistake as well, but just neglecting that totally and saying like, hey, no, I'm totally fine, it's all about grace, there's nothing that I have to worry about, that's an equal error. Here, as we take the Lord's Supper, it's an opportunity for us to reflect, to have a moment of introspection, and say, God, is there anything that I need to get right? Is there anything that's a sin in my life, that I need to take this space to address? Communion is a time for reflection.

Charles Homer: [00:27:38] Lastly, all right, excuse me, not lastly, we got a couple more points, don't get too eager. Communion is also for fellowship. Back in Acts chapter 2, it says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Interesting, that word, fellowship, in Greek is the word Koinonia. Koinonia means fellowship, communion, and even participation. When Christians use the word communion to talk about the Lord's Table, it's because Koinonia was frequently translated communion. And that's where we get this idea of not only the union that we have with God but also the union that we have with our brothers and sisters.

Charles Homer: [00:28:27] In Jude, the communion is actually called the Love Feast, and when they were celebrating communion in the first century, and even in the beginning stages of the church past just the biblical time, it was never a tiny little cup of juice and a tiny little cracker, it was a full-on meal. Just as Jesus took the Passover meal, which was a full meal, and co-opted that and said, like, Hey, this is what I'm taking over for you guys to remember me, and the chief elements are going to be the bread and the cup. When Christians would celebrate the Lord's Table, it was a full dinner.

Charles Homer: [00:29:05] In Corinthians, when Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, he had a lot of details talking about like, hey, how's the right way and the wrong way to celebrate communion? But the undertones of all of it was that these churches probably meeting in houses, probably sitting around the table, were having full meals as part of communion. And part of it was an act of social justice, that regardless of whether you were Jew or gentile, you were a slave or you were a free, as a part of the body of Christ as you came into this time of communion, this time of fellowship, everybody got to eat, everybody got a share of what was going on, everybody got to be fed. And so this idea of communion isn't just something that is for you and for God, but it's also a means for us to be set right again with our brothers and sisters.

Charles Homer: [00:30:02] Here's what Paul says again in First Corinthians, he says, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?". Again, talk about the unity between the believer and with Jesus, "The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?". Speaking of our connection with people? And so it's twofold, it is a connection for us with God, but it's also a connection for us with our brothers. And honestly, this is something that's really hard to do when you're in our main service and there are hundreds of people in the room, and there's that tiny little cup and it's a little swig of juice and a little piece of bread. And that's because Jesus intended for this meal not only to be something that is done in a large gathering but something to be done in our homes, with our life groups, around a table, using this opportunity as a celebration. Not only that, we're right with God, but through our connection with God, we're also able to be right with our brothers and sisters. And that is to be a point of fellowship, Communion is for fellowship.

Charles Homer: [00:31:10] And just for small groups that celebrate this as a group, as you're coming into your gatherings, man, break bread, have the cup, use this as an opportunity to celebrate the fellowship that God blesses us with. And as I'm recording this, it is probably be streamed again on your phone, on your computer, or there in your house, can I just remind you, that there is an embodied importance to the Christian faith? That the fellowship, the gathering together of believers is important, and there's no shame, there's no judgment, but there is an invitation that from the beginning, God says, it is not good for man to be alone. And we know that there's a lot of difficulties with the pandemic, with schedules, with kids having that tough time getting to church or being a participant in a small group, but even in this element of the Lord's Table, fellowship is important. Christianity was never intended to be something that you did solo, it was intended to be something that we did together as the body of Christ, as members of one body, one family, together. The Lord's Supper is for fellowship.

Charles Homer: [00:32:28] Lastly, communion is for thanksgiving. When we look at the word that's translated thanksgiving, it's the word Eucharist. And the reason why in some church traditions the Eucharist is what they call the Lord's Table is because right here in this passage, it just says, that Jesus gave thanks before he broke it. And so there's that association, whenever we see Jesus eating, whether it's the feeding of the five thousand, or they're at the Passover when he's instituting the Lord's Supper, he gives thanks, and then he eats. And so the last aspect that communion is for, communion is for giving thanks. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you've done for me.

Charles Homer: [00:33:13] So, as we come to communion, there's an element of work, an element of participation that we bring to the table. We remember what Jesus did for us, we look forward to when he comes back again. There's an aspect of reflection, where we look back and there's that introspection, there's an appreciation, that through our unity with Christ, we are right with our brothers and sisters, and there is that fellowship there, and then there's thanksgiving. And so we're not coming to the table just thinking like, oh, it's just a little grape juice and it's just a little bread, we are entering this moment knowing that we have a responsibility to enter into this and do those things to remember, to reflect, to be thankful, to look forward.

Charles Homer: [00:33:57] But the best part of it is that as we enter into the sacrament of the Lord's Table, it's not a solo dance, that it's not just us. Jesus, when he instituted the Lord's Supper, he held up the bread and he says, this is my body. He took the cup, and he says, this is my blood. And as he said those words, man, especially from the reformation, but really, all throughout church history, there's been significant questions of, what does Jesus mean when he says, this is my body, this is my blood? And I'm not here to talk about the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, where the body literally becomes the body and blood of Jesus, I'm not even here to teach the Lutheran doctrine of co-substantiation where it is together at the same time bread and the body of Jesus. I'm not here to split hairs over theology, and I'm definitely not saying that this element of grace is a means for our salvation. But what I do want is all to understand, that despite all of the theological bickering back and forth of how Jesus is present in this meal, there is no question that Jesus is present in a special way when we take communion. That when we come in and we remember, we look forward, we are thankful, we're reflective, and we're enjoying the fellowship together, that as we do that, he is here with us in a special way. So as we take that cup, as we take that bread, we drink the cup and we break the bread, and in that moment, Jesus is here with us. And if Jesus is with us, that is enough for us.

Charles Homer: [00:36:06] As we end this video, take some time, celebrate the Lord's Table, celebrate communion. And as you do so, would you celebrate the fact that as you do that, for thousands of years of church history, we are joining in together with the Saints and proclaiming, Jesus, you're here, and that's enough for me.

Charles Homer: [00:36:30] Let's pray. Dear God, thank you for giving us a meal to remember you by. Help us, Lord, to experience your presence on a regular basis. I pray these things in your name, Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600