I don’t like to feel needy. I don’t like it when life squeezes all the comfort and confidence out of me that I’ve come to rely on from day to day. I don’t like pain. My pastor recently preached on John 4, where we are introduced to a desperate man, in a lot of pain, who wasn’t afraid to confess his need.
I recently had the opportunity to preach at my church, and this is the message God put on my hear to share. I show from Psalm 63 that we, the church, have every reason to expect God to show us his power and glory when we seek him both in our corporate gatherings and in private prayer. And I show that this expectation is not based on us, but is based on God’s grace in Jesus Christ. I pray this message blesses you.
Click here to access the sermon on my church’s website. The Psalm is below for reference.
“When we face pain and difficulties in life, it can be tempting to feel alone, abandoned to our trouble. Indeed, one of the key elements of fear and anxiety is the feeling that we are facing our threat alone.”
If you’re like me, you hate being busy, which means you hate events (I know I’m a minority here). You hate hosting events; you hate preparing events; you hate attending events. I am an introvert, which means I derive energy from being by myself or being in small groups of deeply trusted friends. Events are for extroverts.
The sad result of this is that truly important events, like Easter, lose their value to people like me. The rush and bustle of event-prep eclipses the theological and existential import of an event like Easter. It’s hard for me to use Easter the way I’m supposed to. What do I mean by this? Well, the reason one holds an event like Easter is the same reason the Jews held feasts and fasts in the Old Testament. Festivals for Israel were reminders. They were opportunities for God’s people to break away from normal life for the purpose of remembering what God had done and considering the implications for their future.
One of my burdens for this blog is to provide resources for believers to stir up their affections for God. I want to help us want God more. Consequently, I intend to publish more devotional material alongside the kind of problem-analysis-solution styled posts you see elsewhere on the site. This is my first of such posts. In this case, I am sharing a meditation on Communion. I occasionally have the privilege of facilitating Communion at my church. When I do, I prepare some thoughts on the sacrament to help the congregation (myself included) dwell on the significance of the redeeming work of Christ for our life now in order to, as stated above, help folks want God more, to see Him as desirable and so to desire Him. This is the first in a series of such meditations that I’ll post on this blog. I hope they bless you.
Luke 22:14-20 HCSB
When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”