April 3, 2010

"Dinner Guests" - Holy Thursday Sermon

While I have a recent post by the same name and use some of the same content, I took my message for our Holy Thursday service (4/1) and expanded it. Please feel free to share any comments or questions from my outline.

"Dinner Guests"
John 13:1-30

Observations from text...
-Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot had already betrayed him and was still willing to get down on his knees and wash his feet (vs. 2).

-Jesus is willing to celebrate the intimacy of the Passover Meal with his betrayer.

-Notice that Judas Iscariot leaves after receiving the bread, Jesus never tells him or makes him leave. Judas leaves on his own.

-I think this might be significant for us in three ways: the Invitation to come to dinner, who’s going to be there and what do we bring.

-You and I have received an invitation to an intimate meal that we know as Communion.

-Christ has invited us to be his dinner guest and has the authority to do so because he is the one true sacrament of God, he is God coming to us, speaking to us, allowing us to touch and feel him.

-We must recognize that we have no right to be invited but we are able to go because Christ goes with us and he is at home there.

-The Table is the real presence of God as encounter, which is possible because Christ is already there interceding on our behalf (Rom. 8:34).

-The invitation is open

Guest List
-If we're honest, we like to know who's going to be there before we accept an invitation.

-We must keep in mind that the image of God is more of a “we” than a “me”.

-Christ is bread for the world not just us...or people like us or people we like or who are nice to us…remember Judas?

-The only reason you and I can forgive our neighbors or enemies is because Jesus died for them, just as he did for you and me. And because of this, everyone is on the guest list.

What To Bring
-Don’t worry about bringing anything but yourself, come as you are but don’t expect to leave the same. God loves you exactly where you are but loves you too much to leave you there.

-See, sometimes we think we have to “get right” before we can come to the Table or begin a relationship with God but that’s all wrong because we’ll never “get right” enough on our own.

-Christ is already there, in the presence of God, interceding on our behalf, remember?

-He makes you worthy because he is the host that invites you in.

-If you believe Jesus’ words that he is the bread of life, then there is nothing wrong with coming to the Table asking to be fed.

-How will you respond to Christ's invitation to be his dinner guest?