pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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All the Time

Reading: Psalm 34:8

Verse 8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him”.

The pastor or leader calls out, “God is good”! The congregation or group responds with, “All the time”! The one then calls out, “And all the time…” followed by the people’s response: “God is good”! This pattern is usually repeated two or more times, building each time. It is a great reminder of what our passage today is all about.

Our experiences in life teach us this truth if we are walking in faith. Even though the hurt is great in times of loss, when we turn to God we find strength and comfort and peace. God is good to us in our suffering. As we experience other trials, whether big or small, and when we look to God, when we pray to God, when we trust in God, then we again experience that God is good. If we are faithful and we turn to God in our times of need, we know the truth of this verse: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him”.

In communion we literally experience this verse. As the body of Christ, whether two or three are gathered or if it is the whole congregation, when we taste the bread and the juice or wine, we are physically reminded of how good the Lord was and is. When we “do so in remembrance of Jesus” we are blessed spiritually by His presence too as we confess and are made new.

We can also experience this in small but powerful ways. Earlier this week I volunteered in the concession stand at some local basketball games. Towards the end of the night, a young man that I had helped with his math the week before came up to the window with his dad. When he recognized me, he gave me the biggest smile and said hello. This small thing made my day and again reminded me of how good God really is. All the time, God is good!

O God, you are indeed so good. Thank you, Lord! In you I take my refuge time after time. You never fail me. You bless me with your presence and you walk with me. In the bright, sunny, good days sometimes I see you. Help me to see you always. Open my eyes to see you in the days of joy and plenty. You are good, O Lord. Thank you so much. Amen.

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Holy One of God

In communion we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection to the Father.  In the sharing of the meal we use the bread and the juice (or wine) to remind us of the physical sacrifice that gave us spiritual life.  In communion we celebrate the fact that Jesus is still present with us and still offers Himself daily.

The day after the miracle of feeding the 5,000 the crowd gathers again.  Jesus senses that they came not to believe in Him but simply to get another free meal.  So He calls them on it.  After this “hard teaching” many turn away and leave Jesus.  The masses do not understand what is really being offered.

Sometimes in the celebration of communion we miss the significance too.  It can be all ritual and no connection.  The outpouring of the confessions of our heart should be deep and passionate.  It should mirror what Jesus did for us.  It should not simply be bread and juice.  In communion, Jesus awaits us in Spirit; in the act of communion we should expect to meet Jesus there.

After many leave and fall away, Jesus asks the disciples if they are leaving too.  Sometimes I sense Jesus asking us the same question.  Peter answers for the group: “Lord, to whom would we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”  His confession is still true today.  There is no one else to turn to.  Jesus alone offers eternal life.  When we waver, when it appears that we are beginning to turn away, may we recall Pater’s confession and return to the giver of life, Jesus Christ.

Scripture reference: John 6: 56-69