Sunday, January 3, 2016
Communion Sunday: Jan. 1, 2016
“The things of the OT are the shadow, those of the NT are an image and truth is the state of the future things to come.”
St. Maximus the Confessor, 7th century AD.
In this New Year it’s important to emphasize this future, Christian hope of the coming KOG on earth that has been at times muted, at times lost, from the communion service.
We find a reference to this double meaning when Jesus prays to the Father:
“May Your Kingdom, may your will be done on earth…Give us bread today for the coming day.”
[Luke 11.2-3; Mat 6.10-11].
Luke explicitly shows this service as inextricably bound up with the Kingdom promise:
Luke 22.15 “I have been earnestly looking forward to eating this Passover meal with you before my sufferings.
16 I tell you, I shall not eat it again until the time when it is fulfilled in the future Kingdom of God.”
17 Jesus took a cup, and after he had given thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.
18 I tell you that I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.”
Luke 22.29 And so I now covenant with you to grant you a Kingdom and the authority to rule just as my Father covenanted it to me,
30 and you will eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones governing and administering the regathered 12 tribes of Israel.
And Paul adds a reference to the 2nd coming when he repeats the lord’s commandments: 1Cor 11.23-26.
“Paul urges a deeper awareness of the meaning of the new covenant shared in the Lord’s Supper, and thus an authentic proclamation of the Lord’s death until he comes in glory.” The Eucharist in the New Testament, Jerome Kodel, p 82.
As a result, the Kingdom promise was center stage in the communion service of the earliest churches, as shown in the 1st century document called “The Teaching”:
“Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom; for yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.” Didache 9
Hebrews 10.25 Continue to keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. And let us not stay away from church meetings. Some people are doing this more and more. Take this opportunity to comfort, encourage and warn each other, especially as we see the Big Day approaching.