Worship Preview for 8.7.22 - Membership, Remembrance and Christ’s Table
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 with Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.
“Do this in remembrance of me.” Christians across the centuries and around the world have gathered at Christ’s table to share Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, since the first disciples were called. Each of these names evokes a certain understanding, claim and promise axbout what happens as we break bread and receive the cup together. The last few weeks we’ve been talking about what membership means in the United Methodist church, what we believe, and how we live it out. Last week I talked a bit about the Articles of Religion, the first of which is belief in God as Trinity and, the second of which is our belief about who Jesus is. This week we’ll focus on Article 3, the Resurrection, and Articles 16-19, concerning the Sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. United Methodists hold these core beliefs, even as we allow for questions and a journey of faith and emphasize living faith out rather than narrow agreement on phrases.
Emphasizing grace, we practice an “open table” – remembering that it is Christ’s table and Christ who invites us. Just as he called tax collectors, zealots and fishermen together, and served even Judas on the night he was betrayed, we are invited this day. We are called to remember – not just recalling an event long ago, but to receive, to be remade, to participate in what Christ is doing in our midst even now, and to anticipate what Christ will do in, with, through and beyond us in the days to come.
God doesn’t fit in our boxes. Holy Communion invites us to encounter mystery, so see with multiple lenses, to be made whole. We encounter Jesus and profess that he is fully divine and fully human, co-eternal with God. We encounter the fullness of god yet with us in the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. We encounter and respond with awe to God’s ongoing act of creation around us – from budding flowers and butterfly wings to the images sent from the Webb telescope – all things seen and yet unseen. We cannot possibly understand, and yet we encounter and can make sense of our experience. And so we gather with confidence that, in this visible and outward sign of God’s grace, we are being renewed. Join us in person or online to explore this mystery and ponder where it leads your path next.
If you do not have a church home, or just need a change, you are invited to join in worship at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole.
See www.firstumcfsks.org/newvisitorsfor more information on what to expect.
This Week: Wednesday, August 10th, 5:30pm Feeding Families in His Name– this weekly free meal is available to everyone without obligation.
Community Office Hours: Pastor Christopher will hold community office hours next week – being available at Common Grounds on Monday, August 8th from 9:30am to 10:30am and Hedgehog, Ink! from 2:30-3:30pm on Thursday, August 11th. Come say hello!