This Sunday at Bristol we return to our study of the Letter of 1 John. This short letter, written by the apostle John, likely to the Christians of Asia Minor, is full of wisdom regarding who we are in Christ and how we are to daily live. In our text for this week, 1 John 2:28-3:10, John emphasizes the impact of truly believing Jesus is coming again will affect how we live our life.
Throughout the centuries, going back as far at 110 AD, people have speculated as to when Jesus would return. This we know - many who thought they had the timing of the return of Christ figured out were wrong. This we also know - Jesus will come again for the believers. Why? Because He said He would (John 14), the angels confirmed that Jesus would return (Acts 1), and the apostle Paul explained what His coming would look like (1 Thessalonians 4) for the believer. Yes, He is coming again. That is the great hope of every believer.
In our text, John explains how focusing on our final destination, Heaven, will help us in our spiritual journey.
When we focus on Jesus’ coming again we are empowered and motivated to be fully devoted followers of Jesus because we know the best is yet to come.
I hope to see you Sunday. The Lord has something special to teach us from the pen of the apostle John.
Remember, you are deeply loved!
This Sunday at Bristol . . . is Communion Sunday. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (another name for Communion) about seven or eight times a year. Why not just once a year? Or every quarter? Why you ask? Because we have a tendency to forget.
Reminders are important. None of us is infallible so forgetting something - something that may be very important - is a possibility.
How many have you missed an important meeting (or shown up late) because you forgot? Has your son’s soccer game or daughter’s band concert, or our spouse’s birthday ever slipped your mind? Often our memory serves us well, but sometimes . . .
It was no different in the first century for the disciples of Jesus. He knew the tendency His close friends had to forget so He gave them some ways to remember the really important stuff. He washed the disciples’ feet so they would remember the value of serving one another and living a life of humility. He spoke often of “lost” people and the importance of reaching out to them (in fact these were His last words before He returned to Heaven).
One of the clearest reminders He gave was regarding the importance of His death. So that we would not forget what He did for us on the cross, He gave us the Lord’s Supper, or Communion. Much later, Paul, the apostle, likewise reminded the Church at Corinth of the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice so he wrote about the Lord’s Supper repeating what Jesus had said to His disciples.
We all need reminders for the routine and occasional as well as something so important as Jesus’ death. So we have Communion. As we celebrate Communion at Bristol this Sunday, there will be the reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us when He died on the cross. The bread is symbolic of His body broken and the cup represents His blood given for our salvation.
I invite you this Sunday to come and express your personal gratitude to the Lord for His sacrifice by celebrating Communion. Michael Hays, one of our deacons, will be sharing the Communion meditation.
Remember, you are deeply loved!