Believe it or not, I think The Mom is finally getting the idea that she should actually bring note paper to church, rather than scribbling all over the bulletin! Mind you, in some cases the only thing to do is download the mp3 off the internet (yes, our church is really that technically up-to-date), and pause it while she makes notes. That’s what she had to do for last week’s sermon; she’d hoped to do the same with the Christmas Eve one (Rob was rather poetic), but it doesn’t look like that one is going to be available that way. Anyway, got to get this morning’s notes down, and then they’re off downtown to help Sam use up his meal plan, among other errands.
This "you are what you eat" theme is so neat! The real title is "Eating is Believing: At Table With the Lord", and Craig used several points to compare "eating is believing" with "eating is deceiving". And he added his own subtitle: "The Eucharist is a Test!"
One of the first things he pointed out, is that communion can easily be in danger of being nothing but a religious ritual, if you participate in it while practising the kind of self-deception that pretends that "everything is fine" on the outside when it’s not. Then it becomes "eating is deceiving". Anyway, the main "meat" in this sermon I think is the three "tests". The scripture basis is John 6, where Jesus fed the 5,000. This connects both with the past (Moses & the manna in the wilderness) and the future (the Last Supper, and the establishing of Communion).
Test #1: What do we think and do about the world’s need?
When Jesus fed the 5,000, He was meeting the needs of the masses–BOTH physically and spiritually ("I am the Bread of Life"). As we are nourished, it’s so that we can go out and nourish others. If we partake of communion & worship and don’t come away with a sense of mission (for both spiritual and physical needs), then "eating is deceiving".
Test #2: What do we think and do about miracles?
Miracles are with us all the time–both the rare ones (like Jesus multiplying the bread & fish) and the common ones (like things growing from seed). We risk being laughing stocks if we dare to believe that there is "more to life" than we can possibly understand, but if we eat without believing in miracles, than "eating is deceiving". If Jesus is other than God Incarnate, the One Who can create something out of nothing, than the story in John 6 is not credible.
Test #3: What do we think and do about Jesus?
We read only the first 15 verses of John 6, but Craig pointed out that this "worship service" was the opposite to our "normal" order: first there was the feeding–the demonstration (which is what Communion is, a demonstration), then Jesus explained things–and Craig urged us to read the whole chapter. This is where He says that His body & blood are food and drink, and many of His disciples desert Him; though some wanted to make Him a temporal king. It is not always easy to follow Jesus, though in today’s world we’re used to everything feeling "comfortable".
All this talk about "eating" just when The Mom is determined to eat LESS! In fact, she knows it’s impossible to do by herself–she needs God’s help for that, and she’s been thinking… maybe that’s a good reason for saying grace. "Eucharist" comes from the Greek that means "to give thanks", and it’s what Jesus did before He passed around the bread and wine at the Last Supper. "Thanks" is a good way to begin–anything!