Perhaps when we wrote this title, we knew that perhaps we were going in the wrong direction! A lot of bread and a lot of wine. Buit I wanted to take this perspective because those are the elements of communion service, plenty of bread so there's no shortage and plenty of wine so everyone has little of it. Surely the bread represents the body of Christ and the wine his blood. We are reminded of this so very often. But let's take the bread first, which is the word of God- the bible. We need plenty of bread, plenty of the word.
And I don't have to remind anyone that reading the bible is the way to get the word. We just have to make time to open the pantry and get the bread. It's so basic to have nourishment physically and spirtiually. And now we take the other half-the wine, the shed blood of our Lord. The wine is the life like the blood. The holy spirit. The holy spirit is the very life that we hope for. And we need plenty of that. The life we get by prayer because its a gift. For the life we have to ask. Just as we partake of the bread, we partake the life that is in Christ.
Bible and prayer go together. The bible has no meaning if we don't pray for enlightenment on the things of God. Jesus is both. He said "I am the bread of life", or the truth and he said "I am the life.." Which is the shed blood and the wine. And there is something that he said that we haven't mentioned and that he said "I am the way..." Jesus is the only door to heaven. Jesus is the only invitation to the bread and the wine. You need an invitation to pass through the door. And no one invites himself.
Let's turn to 2Samuel 5:1-5 and it points out that even king David did not appoint himself king, but had an annoitment from God and then and invitation by the people. Let read,
["... 1Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Behold, we are your bone and flesh. 2In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.'" 3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years...]
Even the Messiah did not thrust himself upon humanity, he was the answer to a long sought consolation and deliverance from bondage for Israel,
I got up this morning so thirty. I've been reading God's word and somehow I needed something to drink. And I filled the little goblet and drank the drink down, three times. The grape juice from concentrate went down so good. Drinking it from a goblet did the trick. It satified my belly and my mental thirst. Don Quixote runs into trouble again and this time he is in sickbed. He is beaten. He makes potion of wine, salt and rosemary herb according to some old tradition.
We want to focus on the wine. I was at Sam's looking at the wine bottles, those cheap and those luxurious, domestic and imported. I looked at one and looke at its shiny smoked glass. And I thought for a second like looking at the bottom of the ocean. The coral reef. The exotic fish and sea plants and wonders there. A dreamy place. But then I looked at all the sunked ships, wrecked vessels, broken homes, wrecked lives, deperate trouble with the law, and those dead or in jail for drunkeness.
And it seam that the bottle which can bring mirth and joy and gladnes is like the sea, when the storm rises it sinks the greatest of ships. The the storm rises and brawls start, the fight in the home or elsewhere. And I think also of heaven. There's a lot of peace stored there and blessings. But it is also a place where hell is going to be kindled. Yes a two sided story. I think about the gospel. An arome of life of Christ to some. And aroma of distruction to those who scoff.
yes the wine, the sea, heaven and the gospel are all two sided stories. Yes a tale of two endings. But which will be the ending of the tale of your life? Is you tale with a happy ending? Or is it not a tale with a happy ending? Don Quixote had a happy ending in this scene, he recovered. But Sancho became sicker with the potion. Don Quixote said to Sancho, "The reason your got sicker is because you are not a knight..." Has Jesus dubbed you a knight and given his potion for you ills? May the gospel be a fragrance of life and recovery for you! May you be blessed. Amen.
Yesterday we went for the 'stuff' and we couldn't sleep because of the rejoicing of the gospel. But now we just want a snack of God's word and look into morsel of bread. Hopefully there's icying on it! We look at Acts 13:16-20. It says in the bible,
"...Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said, 'Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! The God of our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country. He endured their conduct for about 40 years in the desert. He overthrew 7 nations in Caanan and gave their land to his people as thier inheritance. All this took about 450 years...'"
When we chew on this bagel what can we gather? Surely our God was kind and merciful to the Jewish Israelites in Egypt and he endured them in the desert. But to this day the people have not tasted freedom. In Isaiah 6:9, God says that he has hardened the hearts of them who would not believe and to this day. Lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears and percieve with their mind and understand with their hearts...God would of helped them and healed them.
And we wonder about the severity and the sterness of our loving God. Perhaps he wanted to make a point. Those who never heard of him belived in Samaria and Turkey. But those who would of heard him play the violin in the family room. Just was impossible to accept this so problematic concept of grace. Why can't man be good if he just tries hard enough? Why is his fate closed? We squirm and it's frustrating sometime and we dare say why do bad things happen to good people? Do infant who pass away in the womb pass away into heaven?
Well that's a subject in itself. But how about us do we really trust God to do the right thing at all times? Is God truly faultless? Is the enemy winning the doublt campaign? Aare we really solid with God and ready to follow everywhere he goes and accept everything he says? Or are there thing that you just cannot pass about God? Have I examined myself before prayer tonight? Is my prayer a prayer of faith? Have we really grown to love and trust God? Glorious God? Truly Majestic all-knowing God? May you have a good night and morning. Amen.
After feeling so stressed yesterday, I took a look a the quiet side. At my usual hideout at the bookstore at Barnes and Noble. This is not a commercial but with a due credit its a nice place to relax and pick up a book. I was sitting between the stack of christian books of all sorts and the self help books of all sorts. I couldn't examine one more christian book so I took out a self help book. I was a good book I picked.
I was about sensible eating habits and it took my interest because I'm one given to appetite. The book explored the natural hunger and appetite and the spiritual hunger and appetite of the soul and mind. What is it that we are really hungry for? It went into Zen and Buddist principles which were very sensible and worthy of consideration. One comment here is that the bible is not an all out bow and arrow against things that work or those who propone them.
The book outlined principles that food is a communion of thanksgiving to God and not just a vehicle to stop hunger for food. Well God always told us that. That man shall not live by bread alone but by the WAY God proposes for self-fulfill-ment. Like I said so thing man discover throught meditation and observation are things that God has set in motion to work, like our mouths to eat, a mind to meditate, and a courteous thankyou note that makes you feel appreciated.
The bible is not to unravel all the Zens that work but to bring them to us. It's just that our spiritual parent put in a book he authorizes and stand behind by. All people of all nations love their children, and hopeful their wives and husband and mothers and fathers. God is not against green tea or Kimono apparel or channel from Paris. God want to continue the party. He has a plan for eternal life and that's something miracle worker God can do. And he want all Zen people and Buddist Monks and South Australia Pigmies to join the life boat that
can send us into all the good things you know and much more. A total glorious life where everything is possible because promises that you will not regret to put your trust on him. May you be blessed. Amen.