On October 7, Pastor Katy preaches on Matthew 26:27-28; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 11-12.
26:27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
9:6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
9:11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.
Holy Communion is one of those sacred mysteries we practice as followers of Jesus. This Sunday is World Communion Sunday, when we pay special attention (and celebration) to the fact that Christ’s mysterious table of grace and forgiveness extends around the world to unite us all. As part of the liturgy we recite every time we receive Communion, we remember the first time Jesus offered it to the disciples, and we remember that it was only after giving thanks to God that he shared the cup and bread with words of forgiveness. It’s easy to miss this small act of gratitude, and yet everything else Jesus does stems from that one act. Jesus does not give his life out of obligation or duty. There was no contract with God that he would have 33 years in the flesh in return for an excruciating death. Instead, Jesus’ gratitude to God and his sacrificial response are an overflow of his own grateful heart. In the season of stewardship in the church, we talk about our own giving back to God, but where does our own giving stem from? Does it come from a sense of obligation or guilt, or does it come as an overflow response, with grateful hearts, to all that God has given us?