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Jesus, A Two Course Meal

Sermon Teaser for August 19, 2018
 
For the last few weeks the Gospel lessons have focused on Christ as bread, the typical main course of a 1st Century Jewish meal.  And Jesus, in John chapter 6, has some things to say about eating His flesh and drinking His blood that clearly left people puzzled in His day, and still today leaves some people squeamish.
 
Consider union with Jesus a “two course meal.”  The first course, as we understand Jesus’ words here in John chapter 6, is a “Spiritual” eating and drinking of body and blood of Jesus;  which simply stated means to have faith in Him.  The second course, which Jesus reveals in the Words of Institution at the Last Supper, describe a “Sacramental” eating and drinking of the body and blood. This is to be taken, as our Lutheran Confessions put it, “not in a crude, carnal, Capernaitic way, but in a Supernatural way.”  This “second course” is a beautiful gift of Jesus as part of His last will and testament to provide us with constant assurance of the salvation He has won us through the giving of His body and blood upon the cross. 
 
A great number of people abandoned Jesus when they heard Him talking about eating flesh and drinking blood.  Today, people reject the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the same reasons.  But properly understood, Jesus’ words in John 6 are merely Jesus saying, “Trust in Me.”  And in the Words of Institution, which we find in the other Gospels, Jesus’ words “this is my body,” and “this is my blood”   are far from being gross, but are a truly beautiful gesture on Jesus’ part as He gives us a way to be supernaturally unified with Him each time we eat and drink.

 

Pastor Michael Abram

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VBS Success!

Once again Ascension had a wonderful turnout for Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer!  Over 160 children from our community took part in our Time Lab, where we went both back in time and into the future to see God’s plan of re-creation of the universe in progress.  It was a time of great fun, singing and learning,  but most importantly, a time to minister to the children of our community by sharing with them God’s unconditional love and the saving message of Jesus Christ.

 

This summer, we went in our Time Lab  back to the very beginning to see the creation of the world.  Then we went back again several times to when God Himself visited certain men and women from the Old Testament; like Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Finally, we visited the Last Day, when Jesus returns and raises us from the dead and ushers us into the newly re-created universe free from sin and death forever!

 

It’s never too early to plan for next year!  Put it on your calendar to be a part of our VBS the last week in July or the first week in August each year!  We always need volunteers to help us as we share God’s love with these precious disciples of our Lord.  Check back to this page next summer for VBS dates and to register your child for VBS, or register yourself as a VBS volunteer!
 
Check out some pictures from the event here!
 
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A Message from Pastor Michael

“Filled up with Jesus!”
August 12, 2018
 
Last Sunday we read where the people had chased Jesus down to get more bread from Him, after seeing Him feed over five thousand.  This week, we will examine Jesus’ response to the people. In short, He tells them that they are seeking the wrong bread to fill themselves with; they should look to heavenly bread, rather than the bread that perishes.
 
God wants to be what fills us up, not because He is self-absorbed, but because He loves us and wants us to live!  Sin has caused us to lose our lives.  But Jesus restores our life when we partake of Him through faith.  Anything that we seek to fill ourselves with is a false god and keeps us in bondage to death.  On the other hand, being filled with Christ gives us spiritual life forever, and the promise of bodily resurrection on the last day!
 
 Pastor Michael 

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