With Good Friday coming up this week, it’s a great opportunity to teach your children, grandchildren and those you spiritually mentor, about communion. I’m sure they know what it is, but have they prepared spiritually for it?
When I grew up, my church observed Preparation Sunday. The Sunday prior to communion, we were reminded to prepare ourselves, so we were ready to take communion a week later. Communion in our church was serious business. I’m concerned that too many Christians today do not take it seriously enough. What follow is something you might consider reading to your family this week, or forwarding this blog to your friends, to read to their families.
Your children, grandchildren and those you spiritually mentor, will have heard a hundred sermons and may have forgotten every one. But a simple, four-word sentence just could be the rock that re-directs the river of their life.
For as long as young Count Zinzendorf could remember he had a heart to live for God. Born into a noble Prussian family in the 1700’s, Zinzendorf’s family had his comfortable life of law all planned out for him, so they sent him off to Halle Academy, a boarding school in Germany. But, while other students lived to excel at sports and academics, he regularly gathered students to pray and seek God for the will to live radically and boldly.
His obvious love for God and devotion to prayer galvanized this pampered student body to live with greater kindness. The mistreatment of younger students all but ceased. Lonely, homesick students were comforted instead of ridiculed. The school was transformed!
At the end of his time at Halle, Zinzendorf and five of his privileged friends decided to do what millions of young people dream of today – they decided to start a band! But this band was to be of a radically different sort.
Two years after graduation, on a cold winter’s night, they gathered at an inn from all over Germany. They all knew what they were about to do. They had written and spoke to each other about this moment for years. The vow they were about to take was not an impetuous promise made in a moment of youthful enthusiasm. This vow would change their lives.
(This is part II of my blog last week. If you’ve not read it, you may want to, for it sets up this discussion.)
Here’s the first important question to ask about this teaching: Is Jesus disqualifying “the rich” from heaven, simply because they have wealth, or are many, perhaps even most rich people, disqualifying themselves? Let me rephrase that question: Is the possession of wealth the disqualifying factor, or is there something about wealth or money that keeps the rich from God and therefore, out of the Kingdom?
I believe it’s the later.
As I pointed out last week, there are many wealthy individuals in the Bible, Old Testament and New, who had great wealth and who also loved God and were loved, by God. So, clearly the two are not mutually exclusive.
I believe Jesus’ warnings on wealth can be boiled down to these three dangerous traps for the wealthy.
He then made a statement, I’ve used myself on occasion, “What Jesus really meant to say was…” Apparently, the Son of God can’t seem to find the words to state clearly what he wants to communicate and therefore, needs us to help clarify his statements!
Does the Son of God have a flaw?
If you’ve been in a Bible study for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard or said yourself, “what Jesus meant to say was…” Why do we Christians do that, and are there ever times it’s appropriate?