March is Missions Month here at Legacy. One hundred percent of our foreign and local missions budget for 2009 is funded by a special offering on March 29. And we’re spending the entire month gearing up for that. Talking about it. Preaching about it. Praying about it. Studying it. The mission of our God and the call of his Church: to take up the mission to seek and save the lost. We’re bringing up our own missionaries to speak to us on Sunday morninings. We’re hooking up via the miracle of the internet skype with David and Olivia Nelson in Ukraine and Corey and Emily Mullins in Australia to be with us in our assemblies. This past week 22 individuals and families from Legacy have signed up to take short-term missions trips with the Let’s Start Talking program.
While considering the proclamation aspect of what we do together at the Lord’s Supper each Sunday (see yesterday’s post, “Proclaim the Lord’s Death”), it seems that communion time is also a missionary event.
The death of Christ concerns many more than just a few chosen and believing people. Jesus died for all. He died for all those who are weak, all those who are sinners, all those who are right now enemies of God. Christ does not delay his death for us and for all until the moment when we and others are converted and added to his flock. The Lamb of God carries all the sins of the whole world.
This is another thing we proclaim together at the table. In sharing the communion meal that celebrates the Christ, we testify to the promises of God that he loves all creatures, not just those now present at the table. We declare that Jesus died for all and that all are invited to answer his call to repentance and salvation and a restored relationship with the Creator through him. So the Lord’s table is a missionary event. A missionary action.
Markus Barth, again, from Rediscovering the Lord’s Supper:
“Proclaiming the death of Christ forbids an individual and egotistic, antisocial and particularistic celebration of the eucharist. The Lord’s table is an occasion for and a center of evangelism rather than a selfish search for peace of the soul or joyful private satisfaction.”
Communion time is not primarily a time for God to speak to us or for the clergy — preachers, elders, presiders, etc., — to speak to us. At Christ’s table it is the congregation of believers that is authorized and enabled to speak. We are all together heralds of the Good News. During communion we’re all gospel preachers. At the table we declare to all the world that God’s work embraces all of humanity and that the number of God’s people is not yet complete.
Carrie-Anne’s picks are in. She’s taking Duke. Aggies and Horns are one-and-done. If you want to watch them play, you have to watch today.