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Even before our son’s wedding last month, people asked us to send or show them pictures of the ceremony. Both those who were present and those who couldn’t attend wanted to see pictures. For those who are present, pictures are a way of remembering. For those who can’t attend an event or make it home for a holiday, pictures tell what happened.
As I searched through the hymnal for a list of songs to lead, I found almost nothing on the Judgment or on God as Judge. It just wasn’t there. One little phrase from the Psalms. And another from a song written by a brother in Christ about the Lord coming to judge. And that was it. Why, I wonder, is one of the major themes of Scripture absent from our hymns?
Though it makes a difference to someone, whether a sports team wins a tournament or championship has no effect on my life. Not even on my emotional scale. Jesus rose from the dead. This is a fact, like the announcement of the winning team of a playoff. But more than a fact, it is a truth.
Satan is the accuser. His mission is to keep man away from God. His methods are many, his wiles devious. The very word “Devil” means an accuser, a slanderer. While purporting to help and point out a more advantageous way to get through life, the prince of demons is setting a trap.
On Friday a Brazilian Catholic cardinal declared, in jest, to reporters, that the family is “the world’s greatest problem.” This was his throw-away phrase to deflect speculation that doing away with celibacy among the clergy might raise the number of priests in his religion.
When Jesus wants something intensely, it’s worth paying attention. Intensely. He said literally, “With desire I have desired.” Some scholars understand this as a hangover from the Hebrew which intensifies the idea of the verb.
The Lord’s supper is a family meal. It is for those who celebrate their redemption. It is for those who have been bought by the blood of the cross, who stand in a covenant relationship with God.
Glenda Williams tells that in their jail ministry in Geneva, Alabama, when one prisoner was baptized, he felt so thankful for the forgiveness of his sins that he stood in the baptistry and wept for a long time.
Like a broom, the Lord’s Supper sweeps away all the detritus, accumulated junk and lesser concerns of our lives. At the table, we see clearly the One Thing in this world that really matters.