Thanks be to God.
It's Christmas! It's the story of the beginning of salvation. It is God's gift to humanity. We are the recipients of all these things. Today is Sunday worship! Today is our day to say thank you.
But last night, we received something quite significant. Last night, we did something quite significant.
Our Christmas Eve service spanned the God narrative and began in Genesis then ended in the hope of Jesus second coming in the future. We spoke of Bethlehem (translated 'house of bread') and celebrated the birth of Jesus. Our service included Holy Communion and the special moment for me was when we took the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths out of the manger to unwrap and reveal the bread of life (Jesus). Such a holy moment! These images don't always fit the warm fuzzy narrative we have deeply seated in our minds, yet, Jesus is the bread of life and did sacrifice his life for ours.
Christmas and the celebration of Jesus being born loses it's power if it isn't connected to the reason Jesus came to earth. Here is where we come into God's narrative.
"The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and 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, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23b-26, NIV)
When we receive Holy Communion, we are saying something. We proclaim Jesus death (and subsequent victory over it) until he comes (again). Regularly attending your place of worship and receiving the Holy Sacrament is significant. Our acknowledging Jesus's death, means we also celebrate his birth. It is a great way to live and brings hope to you and me. There is so much more yet to come and God doesn't want us to miss any of it. What is 'it'?
The 'it' is us resting eternally in the presence of our Creator, Redeemer, and Lover of our souls. That sounds pretty nice to me. How about you, do you have notions of grasping all the gifts of grace God has to offer? I hope so. Give thanks to God and the next time you have opportunity to receive Holy Communion, don't forget to proclaim Jesus! Tracie, Joe and I wish you a Merry Christmas!