Communion Service (Realize Christ's Presence)
REALIZE CHRIST=S PRESENCE
In Matthew 18:20 we have a magnificent promise from Jesus: AMatthew 18:20 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV)
Christ promises to be in our midst. He is in our corporate worship, prayer, and observance of the Lord=s Supper. The term Atwo or three@ is an idiom for a group or any size, large or small. The important truth in this verse is not the size of the crowd but the presence of Christ.
We can be sure this promise from the Master was a comfort to the first-century church. They were a tiny island of believers in a sea of paganism. Christ is present in our prayer meetings and Bible study groups as surely as he is present in the church sanctuary or coliseum crusade.
This lovely text reminds us that Christ is present in our family prayers at the dinner table. Christ is Lord of the dinner table in our homes as surely as he is Lord of the communion table at church.
Remember ALittle is much when God is in it.@
1. God is universally present in the world.
Psalm 19:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (NIV)
There is no place in Creation where God is not present. Listen to the compelling poetry of Psalm 139:7-12:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (NIV)
II God is particularly present in his world. At specific times and places his Presence has been obvious and transforming. In Old Testament times,
God called Moses at the burning bush.
He called Abraham to leave his homeland and go on a pilgrimage of faith-he knew not where.
God was present in the temple worship and called young Isaiah to be a prophet.
God was present in great events, such as the Exodus and the Israelite=s return from exile.
In New Testament times, the divine Presence was not in doubt.
2 Corinthians 5:19 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ. (NIV)
Jesus was God incarnate:
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
God is particularly present today in our worship: prayer and praise, the preaching of the Word, the drama of baptism, and the Lord=s Supper.
If you will be confessional, you may acknowledge that God has been present in you life. It may have been in a time of danger when you cried AO God! Help me@! And He did.
God may have been present in your experience at some point of temptation. You asked for His help, and he provided a way out.
The divine Presence may well have been yours in a time of trouble or grief. In the midst of great loss or disappointment, you felt comfort as you sensed his Presence with you.
God can be with us in our daily walk. We learn to practice the Presence of the Lord.
Is Christ real in your experience? Are you consciously aware of the divine Presence?
Luther declared; AGod is here!@ Can you acknowledge that and rejoice in it? None are so blind as those who refuse to see.
The observance of the Lord=s Supper invites us into God=s presence to worship and have fellowship with him. Jesus said in Luke 22:19 , A Do this in remembrance of me.@
The observance then sends us back to our responsibilities in the world with new freedom and joy. It constitutes a call to worship and a call to serve. In the Lord=s Supper, we experience the Presence of Christ - in fact.
As we come to this table
may Christ enter our minds, that
may think his thoughts;
my Christ flood our emotions,
we may feel his love;
may Christ captivate our wills,
that we may follow where he leads;
may Christ fill our bodies to heal and to bless.