“What We Have to Offer the World”

On September 2, Pastor Jim preaches on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Friends, words cannot express how grateful I will be to be back with you this coming Sunday. These past weeks have helped me focus and ask some basic questions about the meaning of our faith and purpose of the church.

I remember my first Sunday, June 15, 1986. I was a fledgling pastor preaching to folks old enough to be my grandparents, and in some cases great-grandparents. I knew I was green. What could I possibly have to offer these seasoned saints?

Then I remembered a painting by Kenneth Wyatt which portrayed John Wesley saying farewell to the first Methodist missionaries to sail to America. In the picture he leans down to Thomas Coke and says, “Offer them Christ.”

I decided then and there that Christ was the one thing I could and should offer.

Our culture is a complex and often confusing one. The old rules of church and membership and perfect attendance are gone. The church is no longer in the mainstream, but on the sidelines. Sometimes it’s hard to understand our place in society. Yet one thing we know: We can share Christ. He is the one that we need, that the Oak Hill community, that our city and world need. Without apology, we must joyfully and faithfully offer them Christ!

This Sunday we will gather around his table as he offers himself to us. I’m looking forward to seeing your faces as Christ fills us all with grace and hope. We will all rise from the table, forgiven, loved, and free!