Order, Voices, & Words

Order

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Opening Audio (10:15am)

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

#1 ONE Video #1 (?)

Call to Worship

Communion Song (Stockstill)

Live/OnLine

Prayer                                          Rick

Music 1                                        Billy

     How Great the Father’s Love (Crosby & Doane)

Today’s Story                              Online – Musgroves

                                                   In Person-Peyton

Music 2                                       Billy

     Be The Center (Frye)

Message    ‘Flesh and Blood”   Rick

Communion (Music 3 during communion)

Music 3                                       Billy

     Be The Center (Frye)

Community                                Rick

Benediction                               Online – Musgroves

                                                   In Person-Peyton

Closing Peace                          Rick

Closing Audio

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

Voices and Words

Prayer

God, you call us your chosen ones, holy and beloved.

You call us to be the body of Christ.

You call us to dress in compassion, kindness, meekness, and patience.

You call us to add a layer of harmonious love binding us all together.

You call us to bear with, and forgive, each other as you have forgiven us.

You call us to hearts ruled by Christ.

You call us to a rich indwelling of truth.

You call us to wisely teach and admonish each other.

You call us to a silent gratitude that screams to all.

You call us to do everything in the name of Jesus.

You call us to live out our thanks to you through Jesus.

Amen

Colossians 3:12-17

Music 1

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

CCLI Song # 1558110

Stuart Townend

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything

No gifts no pow’r no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

Today’s Story 

It all began with free food.

Free food and a celebrity appearance, Jesus even stuck around and shook hands and kissed babies.

5,000 plus people and too much food. It is always hard to plan for an unexpected large crowd, especially when you don’t expect a any size crowd.

No planning, a huge crowd, a huge hungry crowd, a huge crowd that stuck around it seemed that they would never go home.

I can’t imagine the exhaustion of the disciples. They were tired from an exciting but also very physically busy day, they just wanted to get away from the huge crowd…it was time fo them, and Jesus, to get in the boat.

By this time Jesus had also slipped away from the crowd, he had exited in order to get some alone time.  Then, when the disciples were out of view of the shore and the winds began to pick up and the boat began to rock, the whole thing got scary, really scary.

Not as scary as it did when they realized that a person, a person who was not in a boat, was coming their way on the water.

Then, they realize that it is Jesus, walking on the water, and then climbing into the boat like it was no big deal.

The next day the huge dinner crowd was hungry again. They wanted more of the free food!

 Jesus made a comparison to their ancestors who received free food, just laying on the ground each morning when they awoke. It was just there, everyday.

But then, the whole thing took a very strange turn. The topic switched to eating flesh and drinking blood. It was like cannibals, zombies and vampires all in one.

It started out fairly acceptable, fairly non-horror show plot line. Jesus said, Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

I bet that got the attention of the crowd.

At least a few, who started mumbling and grumbling saying, ““How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 

So now Jesus went really dark, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

Even his own disciples were complaining “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”

Jesus overheard and said, “Does the offend you?”

That had to be uncomfortable and awkward.

Jesus gave them a few hints to help them better understand,  “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

It was a discussion that became very uncomfortable, and then just continued in that direction – eating flesh and drinking blood. By the end of this encounter with Jesus there were some followers and even some disciples that walked away. It was too much, it was more than they had signed up for.

Free food, eating flesh, and drinking blood. The crowds became thinner as the messages got heavier.

Some walked away, but the ones that stayed said to Jesus, “We will not leave you… seriously Jesus, where would we go if we did leave? Only you have the words of eternal life.  We believe, and know ,that you are the Holy One of God.”

Music 2

Be The Centre

CCLI Song # 2650429

Michael Frye

Jesus be the centre

Be my source be my light

Jesus

Jesus be the centre

Be my hope be my song

Jesus

Be the fire in my heart

Be the wind in these sails

Be the reason that I live

Jesus Jesus

Jesus be my vision

Be my path be my guide

Jesus

Message        ‘Flesh and Blood’

‘Christianity faced opposition from its inception.” These are the words of author David Cassel as he attempts to explain the challenges that early Christians faced. Most of us have grown up with the tenants of Christianity, it seems absolutely normal to us. We are settled with our faith. Cassel goes on to expand on his opening comments…

‘Christianity faced opposition from its inception. Its founder was killed, and its first major missionaries were martyred. But as Christianity spread beyond Judea, the nature of the criticisms changed.

Rather than opposing Jesus’ teachings, most attacks against Christianity arose from ignorance and fear.

Frequently critics had little, if any, firsthand experience with Christians, their worship, or their beliefs. So for the first two centuries, attacks tended to restate stereotypes and misconceptions.’

Defending the Cannibals, J. David Cassel, Christianity Today, 11.21

Second-century Christian apologists Justin  Martyr detailed the three main accusations levied against Christians – atheism, incest, and cannibalism. The charge of atheism came from their refusal to worship the Roman pantheon of god. The charge of incest originated from the Christian concept of being united as ‘one family in Christ’ – husbands and wives would refer to each other as ‘brothers and sisters.’ The third charge was cannibalism because of their belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Romans overhearing Christians talking about consuming the flesh and blood of Christ. Many Romans held the perspective that the central purpose of Christian gatherings was for the acts of cannibalism.

In the mid second century, Minucius Felix probably one of the first fact checkers, rationally critiqued the ongoing conspiracies and misconceptions against Christians in his Octavius, Felix sought to squash the rumors and wild accusations of cannibalism against Christian. He details the wild and  false accusations…

‘An infant is slain…[Christians] lick up its blood; eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are pledged together; with this consciousness of wickedness they are covenanted to mutual silence.”

Octavius. Minucius Felix. Encyclopedia of Philosphy, https://iep.utm.edu/minucius/

Let’s get a bit of context. Jesus, sometimes confused his listeners, and often outright aggravated his own disciples by speaking in cryptic and frustrating ways. Jesus was definitely not always pragmatic with his words, but, then again his message was meant to shatter the wrong assumptions of his listeners. His Jewish listeners were very accustom to a “DO’ faith where they were told in detail what to do and what to not do. Their faith practice was rooted in the commands given  through Moses. Seldom were the people left on their own to figure it out. Jesus, however, was preaching a ‘BE’ faith. A faith rooted in the heart  of each follower. Jesus was moving the listeners from a ‘Do and Then Become’ faith

to a “Be and Then You Will Do’ faith.

His  message focused on Be rather than a barrage of DOs and DONT’S. This was possible because Jesus was going to DO the Dos. This is why Jesus could promise that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.”

In John 6, we see Jesus followed closely by a crowd of people – a huge crowd, numbering in the thousands. They saw him heal the sick and they wanted to see more healings. They recognized that he had walked on water, they wanted to see more of that. The thousand plus crowd were fed by Jesus, they wanted more food.

Jesus was “DOing’ stuff and they were intrigued and mesmerized. But they were missing the bigger picture. They were missing the signs, the were failing to connect Jesus as the coming Deliverer. Quite frankly, Jesus didn’t come to hold healing crusades, he didn’t come to preform magic tricks, nor did he come to be a celebrity chef – these were all things that flowed naturally out of his compassion and mercy – I’m not sure he could resist acts of love. These acts, however, were feeding the ‘WOW Me’ expectations of the crowd. This was not Jesus mission, Jesus came to proclaim God’s love, deliverance, and redemption.

‘Jesus said to the crowd , “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate some of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.’”

John 6:26-27

Therefore the crowds said to Him, “What do we need to do??” Jesus answered and said to them. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” So they said to Him, “What then are You doing as a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work are You performing? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness.’”

John 6:28-31

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me will not be hungry, and the one who believes in Me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have indeed seen Me, and yet you do not believe.

John 6:35-36

Did you see what Jesus did? He moved from ‘DO’ to ‘BE’, from external to internal, from earthly to eternity, from ‘Let me SEE it’ to ‘Let me BE it’.

This is the backstory of Jesus overhearing the religious leaders having a ‘WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?!’ conversation. They, were complaining and revealing their own Stuckness of ‘DO’ religious practices and teachings. It was in the midst of this, Jesus challenged them…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 

For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me, and I live because of  the Father, the one who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 

This is the bread that came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate and died; the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

John 6:53-58

Now, let’s start with the ickiness of Jesus literal words. Eating flesh, drinking blood – we cannot deny the Jesus says this. However, there is not evidence that this is a literal. We do not hear of the disciples taking a bite of Jesus arm, nor do we read that Jesus shows up at an appearance missing a finger. Surely, it this was a literal practice, his primary mentors would have been the first to take part.

We must take the context of these words. Jesus was moving the people, and the leaders, beyond the spectacular of the things Jesus was Doing to, instead, see the signs within the things Jesus did. To replace their expectation of entertainment to a heart and mind understanding of Jesus’ life and words.

The people wanted Jesus to outdo Moses and the Manna, Jesus was leading the people to understand that one was an earthly element addressing an earthly need – while the other was forever, eternal.

Jesus’ words ‘Eat’ and ‘Drink’ are both primary verbs, they are not passive and momentary simply satisfying a moment of hunger, they are intentional and forever. They are a way of life. They point to the cross, not to a picnic. They are sacrifice not selfishness.

‘In the final moments before the cross we see ‘Jesus reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I  suffer.” 

He took some bread and gave thanks, breaking it he gave it to them, saying, “Take this and share it among yourselves.” “This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant in My blood. But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table.”’

Mark 22:14-21

Jesus, in these final moments, shared in a precious holy moment. A moment of togetherness, a moment of mutual support, love, and encouragement. A together moment intended to strengthen them all before they faced the horrors ahead. Jesus even gave them a glimpse of the betrayal that laid ahead. This was a gathering of men who had were still learning how to eat of the flesh and drink of the blood, not in literal sense but in a real consistent and intentional way. They were PARTAKING of Christ. Jesus had become their reality, their strength, their faithfulness, their compassion, their mercy, and their love. And, now they sat around a table, relaxed and secure in the commonalty of those gathered at this table. It was about sharing, it was about partaking, it was about trust (even trust that was about to be shattered by reality, but trust all the same), it was a about a moment that would never again be shared but always remembered and treasured. It was a precious moment together at the table. Those that shared, those that ate, those who drank, as well as those who would soon sacrifice everything. They would fail, and they would continually strive. They would always remember that moment and add to it in the future. The emphasis of this moment was not controversial or rumor worthy, it was a group of men who had journeyed together, who shared a mutual belief and were now sharing bread and wine, who had and would suffer together, who would soon grieve together, now sharing a holy human gathering. A moment that would strengthen them for all the moments ahead.

In an odd way, the Roman conspiracies were not totally wrong. They did gather together, they did share in the bread and wine. Not in order to deceive, control, and especially not to use extortion on each other. They gathered to remember, to share, to comfort, to hope, to strengthen and to live out love.

Let’s pray.

Music 3

Be The Centre

CCLI Song # 2650429

Michael Frye

Jesus be the centre

Be my source be my light

Jesus

Jesus be the centre

Be my hope be my song

Jesus

Be the fire in my heart

Be the wind in these sails

Be the reason that I live

Jesus Jesus

Jesus be my vision

Be my path be my guide

Jesus

Community

Community

hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) – Bible Study – This Thursday

Next Sunday – ‘…unforgivable. Blasphemy.’

Time Change, One Hour Back,

Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday, November 21 @ 6pm, details soon

Benediction

We go from here remembering that Jesus gave us his Body.

We go from here to because walls do not contain his Body.

We go from here because that is what Jesus did in his Body.

We go from here because that is what Jesus does in his Body.

We go from here determined to fully partake full of the Body..

We go from here resolute to constantly be the Body.

We go from here committed to be the Body.

We go from here aware that we are a part, not the whole, of the Body..

We go from here fearfully honored to be a part of the Body.

We go from here because the Body’s place is out there.

Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Go in grace, peace, joy, love, and hope.

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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