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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sermon 12142011 Mid-Week Advent 3

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, as we gather this evening to hear the fulfillment of the covenant for us today, may we begin to understand it is Your gift to us.  For the gift of Your Son and our Savior through His precious Body and Blood gives us life and salvation.  In, with, under and through the Bread and Wine that is the Body and Blood of Christ God fulfills the covenant He made with us in our baptism and we are changed by our receipt of Your gift of our salvation.  As we prepare for our celebration of His Advent, may God’s gift to us change us and make us whole.  For this can only occur because of Jesus sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary for all of us Saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

One of the joys of Pastoral ministry is the opportunity to meet with the Council and discuss the business of the church.  This past Sunday we met as we do monthly to discuss the day to day operations of the church and the issues that come up that we as a council have to deal with.  Well, like with most organizations, meetings can sometimes go long, and church council is no different.  But what is different is that I need these meetings, no matter how long they last, to insure I am meeting the needs of you the people of God I have been called to serve. 

Usually we meet on Tuesday’s, but this month due to schedule conflicts we met Sunday afternoon beginning at 2PM.  I told my wife, I should be home for dinner, and she was preparing a glazed ham with all the fixings.  Well, as 5:30 rolled around, I called Michele and said, go ahead and eat without me.  When I arrived home about 8:30, I found out, I was missed and I missed out on a good glazed ham dinner meal.

In tonight’s text we hear the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of a new covenant.  The fulfillment is found in the meal that Jesus Christ institutes and shares with His disciples.  Hear again a portion of the text of Luke:

“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and 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.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

God’s focus for us today is this meal that Jesus Christ instituted.  It isn’t glazed ham, but the greatest meal we can partake of this side of heaven.  For, we find that from the prophets and especially Jeremiah, he foretold of this meal as our ‘new covenant in Jesus Christ Blood’ for ‘this cup is poured out for us’.  In receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we enter into the everlasting covenant that is the forgiveness of sins and life and salvation.  When Jeremiah said the covenant would be placed on our hearts, it is fulfilled as we receive Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood on our lips.  We receive this gift that Jesus instituted on Maundy Thursday and our lives are forever changed.

Yet, as with any covenant, we are still sinful creatures and do break the covenant with God that He has made with us in and through our baptism and in our receipt of the Lord’s Supper.  But what is different is that God Who made this covenant with us, does not forget us or depart from us.  For Jeremiah tells us He that is God will remember our sin no more.  Therefore in this Paschal Meal, instituted and prepared for us by Jesus Christ, where we receive His precious Body and Blood, we will hear God’s Word clearly fulfilled from Jeremiah through Luke of remembering our sin no more when we receive this Holy Meal.  And this is why we not only can come and hear the words of forgiveness of the Gospel, but heartily eat and drink His precious Body and Blood as often as we can.   For Jesus Christ Body and Blood will strengthen us for our lives outside of the church walls.  It is meant to feed us on a regular basis, because we need it and should desire it regularly, just as much as we feed ourselves the earthly food on a daily basis three meals a day and sometimes even snacks between meals. 

This meal is not only to remind us of God’s covenant with us on our hearts, but especially during this Advent season to help us clearly hear the prophets message and its fulfillment heard in scripture and in the manger in Bethlehem and prepared for us here in church.  For Jesus meal that we “do…in remembrance of Jesus Christ” and His innocent life, death and resurrection gives us the forgiveness of sins and life and salvation for all of us Saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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