Saint Andrew’s EC (March 23rd, 2016)
Text: John (John 13:1-15)
Title: A New Mandate & Food for the Journey!!
Two things of paramount importance occurred in the Upper Room on the night before Jesus’ passion and death…two things which happened more than 2000 years ago, but which continue to play a significant role in our lives as disciples and followers of the carpenter from Nazareth. The first was the washing of the disciples’ feet…an event which is only recorded in John’s Gospel. It was a powerful illustration…a “visible Word”…defining the kind of humble and service-oriented life that Jesus always intended his beloved disciples to live…serving one another in the community of faith and serving a broken and hurting world in his name. The second thing that happened that fateful Thursday evening was the institution of the paschal meal…the Lord’s Supper…
- The Holy Eucharist…the central act of Christian worship and the source of our spiritual energy, life and health.
- The Holy Eucharist…our communion with the Risen and Living Christ…
The point I want to make this morning/afternoon is that these two things (our communion with Christ and our service to each other and to the world) are NOT unrelated! You see, Christ Feeds Us…not to make us FAT spiritually…not only to satisfy our spiritual hunger…no, Christ feeds us to make us food for each other and for a hungry world!
Without the spiritual energy we receive each time we come to the Altar to eat the bread and drink from the cup, our service to each other and to the world soon becomes spiritually empty and we get “burned out”. Without compassionate and humble service to a needy world, our communion with Christ in the Eucharist can become self-serving and soon looses it’s power to transform our hearts and our lives.
My friends, the healthy Christian does not “Live to EAT”…the healthy Christian “EATS to LIVE” and to serve. It is not (nor has it ever been) EITHER Communion with Christ or Service to the world. The balanced Christian life…the life to which we have been called in the waters of Baptism requires BOTH a spiritually satisfying communion with Christ and a humble and compassionate service to each other and to the world.
The Eucharistic meal and service to the world…these have always been the essence of a healthy and balanced Christian life and the “hallmarks” of authentic Christian discipleship.
The New Mandate and the Holy Eucharist…Jesus gave these two gifts to his beloved disciples more than 2000 years ago on the night before he suffered…today, through the words of the Holy Gospel, he offers us the same gifts…gifts which are the key to a healthy, balanced and satisfying spiritual life…