Do This In Remembrance Of Me

Those are the words Jesus spoke to His disciples on the night He shared the Passover meal with them. It was the same evening that would see Him denied, betrayed, and arrested. Today we refer to this meal as the Lord’s Supper. It’s one of two ordinances that Jesus commanded us to continue practicing after His ascension to Heaven. It’s really a memorial dinner to remind us of what He did on the cross to secure our righteousness before God. And Jesus knew that we would frequently need this reminder.

In a 2017 lecture, Mark Meynell addressed the connection between identity and memory: “BBC Radio 3, the U.K.'s primary classical music station, ran a fascinating series of articles on music and memory. Adam Zeman, a Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, wrote about amnesia and memory loss and their relationship to epilepsy. Zeman mentioned two patients, Peter and Marcus, who described their amnesia in very similar terms. One said: ‘My memory of my past is a blank space. I feel lost and hopeless. I'm trying to explore a void.’ Both described how disconcerting it is to look at photos. Even though they recognize themselves, they have no recollection of the moment. One said that it's like ‘reading a biography of a stranger.’ He's conscious of recent memories slipping away from him, like ships sailing out to sea in the fog, never to be seen again. Two things stand out in Zeman's essay. First, without memory, it's hard to cling to an identity. So one of the patients said: ‘I don't have the moorings that other people draw on to know who they are.’ Second, it's hard to have hope when we don't know our past. As Zeman explained, ‘The inability to invoke the past greatly impedes their ability to imagine a future.’”

In the Lord’s Supper our minds are anchored to the richness of our great salvation and our identity in Christ. The Lord’s Supper provides spiritual moorings that enable us to look back at the sacrificial love of Christ expressed for us, while helping us look forward to our future in the Kingdom of God. For that and other reasons the supper is not to be taken trivially or without contemplation.

Sunday, at the end of my message, we will partake of this sacred meal. This is an exclusive meal! Yet it is open to all believers, but please note, it is only for believers so use spiritual discretion as to the partaking of the supper.

Recently the Dothan Eagle informed us that Ridgecrest was voted the best place to worship in Dothan and the Wiregrass. I couldn’t agree more from a pastoral, human standpoint. But if that is the case, let our boast as Paul said be in the Cross of Jesus Christ and may this place lift up and continue to lift high the Cross, the Savior, and the saving message of the gospel to our community and beyond. Let us never believe that we are special, but that Christ alone is the special one, and He deserves all the glory and praise in our area and before people.

Annual time away for Alison and I begins this coming week. Over the years you have so graciously allowed me the month of July as a kind of sabbatical to study, read, write, rest, and seek the Lord for the life of our church. In fact, it is during this time that the Lord gives me much of my preaching agenda and direction for the months ahead. We will be in and out of town a bit, I have a couple of overdue household projects, and much time will be devoted to the Lord. My mornings start very early with lots of coffee, my bible, my notebook, prayer guide, and books to read, all of which generally continue until about noon. While I look forward to recharging, I will be more than ready by the end of the month to be back in the pulpit. You’ll be in good hands as always with our guys filling in. Then Awesome August arrives with an incredible line up of Godly men to speak His Word to us. This year, Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle will launch the month, followed by Steve Gaines, H.B. Charles, and we will conclude with our dearly beloved Fred Luter. But until then let me ask you to: 1. Be faithful in attendance 2. Be faithful in your financial support and 3. Behave!

And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

For God’s Glory Alone,
Pastor Ray

Image credit: Unsplash
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