"STICK TO THE PLAN"
by Rev. Randy Barrington
ref : Exodus 1:8-14
I know that this message isn’t really about Joseph, but more about God’s plan or maybe even more about God’s promise.
Not a yesterday plan but a plan that was started long ago in Genesis.
God made a promise to Abraham; we know that God promised him that he would be the father of a great nation.
Well that was the first part of the plan, the second part was that He would give them a place to live (a land of their own) A land that flowed with milk and honey.
So how did they end up here in Egypt in the first place. We started this whole story with Joseph and looked at a lot of different things.
· Son of Rachael.
· Spoiled by Jacob.
· Hated by his brothers.
· A dreamer.
· Sold into slavery.
· Bought by Potiphar.
· Placed in charge of the house.
· Lied about by Photiphar’s wife.
· Thrown into the Kings prison.
· Places in charge of the prisoners.
· Released by Pharaoh.
· Placed in charge of the whole country of Egypt.
· 13 yrs of struggle to get to this point.
· His brothers came to him out of need.
· They did bow before him.
· Joseph understood that even though man might think he is in charge. Even though man plans out of selfishness. God was making the real plans and he forgave his brothers and brought the whole family into Egypt where he could save and provide for them.
Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
And so it was God’s plan to move His people where they would be safe.
1. God has a plan.
2. Sometimes Gods plan is hard to follow.
God had a two part promise.
1. Many people.
2. Land of their own.
He never made a promise that it would be easy and it wasn’t.
We started with V8 but because we are looking at God’s promise I want us to back up 2 verses.
We see especially in V7 that the plan is still in effect. God didn’t bring through the famine so they could barely survive. No they flourished into the nation He promised.
When they came into Egypt they were 70 people.
Now it says that they filled the land. By the time they leave they will be a few million including 6000,000 fighting men.
God had a plan.
Eventually every good thing must come to an end and a new ruler always brings changes.
Maybe though that’s what Israel needed. God made this promise of many people, but He also wanted them to live in Canaan.
Sadly it doesn’t look like anybody is in a big hurry to get there though. Looks like everyone is very happy where they are.
I have always wondered if God didn’t put a bug in the ear of the new King.
Escape? Why would they need to escape, where they slaves and didn’t even know it?
I wonder what happened that would bring them from being free men saved by Egypt. To being so comfortable that they were like slaves to them? What compromises had they made to get there?
It sounds to me that all this did was make it official and that they didn’t even argue about it, never mind putting up a fight. Remember V9 they outnumbered the Egyptians.
The harder they beat them and worked them the more they grew.
And now hard times have come to the nation as a whole. Was it because they were too happy with half way? I don’t know but I sure do wonder, was God allowing this? I don’t know if He wanted it but He sure wasn’t stopping it. I just keep thinking that maybe he wanted the Israelites to want something better. The whole promise.
Exodus 3:7 (ESV)
Then the Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings,
When they got good and fed up with Egypt they began to cry out to God and He heard them.
So my question for the week is this. Are we happy with where we are? Are we half way, is that enough?
I want God to bless me completely. Do I need a push to get there?
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Are we seeking God’s plan for our lives? All the plan, the whole plan, and nothing but the plan?
Let’s never settle for half a blessing.
God's Grace Is Pure
God's grace touches and affects every aspect of a believer's life. It impacts our growth, stability and service, and not just our salvation. The principle of grace is as fundamental to Christianity as that of justice to the Law, or love is to marriage. The doctrine of grace distinguishes the Christian faith from every other religion in the world. Rightly understood and applied, the doctrine of grace can revolutionize one's Christian life.
Grace is mentioned 170 times in the Bible. Grace, by definition, is the unmerited, or unearned, favour of God. In other words, grace is God doing good for us that we don't deserve. Grace can also be defined as God's sufficiency or God's fullness in the life of the believer. Not only are we saved by the grace of God, we also serve the Lord and live the Christian life by the grace of God.
In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul testified, "But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain." It was God's grace that made him what he was. It was God's goodness working in him that made him such a great servant of God. We also need the grace of God. We need it first of all for salvation. Without the grace of God, we can't have eternal life. We need God's grace for our daily walk with Him. We are weak and easily led astray. Jesus told us that we can do nothing without Him, but God provides daily strength through His grace working in us. We need to believe that He will provide what He has promised and walk with assurance that His grace is working m us.
Jesus, in both His words and His works, demonstrated grace. He didn't come to judge or to condemn, but to forgive and to save. Grace is epitomized on the cross of Calvary. Only God's grace through Jesus Christ can save man. To think of ourselves as sinners doesn't degrade us. The Bible is not written to condemn, but to tell of our worth. The laws of God are not designed to fill men with guilt and rob him of happiness. The Psalmist said, "What is man that thou art mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour."
While grace has always existed as a part of the character of God and was epitomized on the cross of Christ, it is expressed in a wide variety of forms. Grace takes many forms in the Bible. Common grace is that benevolence which is given to all men, regardless of their spiritual condition. Saving grace is that generous provision of salvation on the cross and the security of it by divine intervention. God is gracious in making provision for the salvation of all men and in commanding its universal proclamation. He is also gracious is delaying judgement, thereby giving man ample time to repent.
Securing grace is that manifestation of God's benevolence by which Christians are kept secure in spite of sin. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith into His grace, and we live in hope and the glory of God.
Sanctifying grace is that grace which works within the true believer in such a way as to bring growth, maturity and progress in the process of becoming a true, practicing Christian. Serving grace refers to acts of generosity and giving. It specifically refers to spiritual gifts. 1 Peter 4:10 states, "As each one has received a special gift, use it serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
Sustaining grace is grace given at special times of need, especially during adversity and suffering. As told in Hebrews 4: 16, "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."
We see that grace is manifested in a variety of ways. Grace seeks us and saves us. Grace keeps us secure. Grace enables us to serve and to endure the tests and trials of life. Grace will bring about our sanctification in this life and will ultimately bring us to glory. From beginning to end we are the object of divine grace.
So how do we understand the purpose of God's grace? We know it's designed to relieve sinful man of a guilt-stricken conscience. Isaiah said, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, where waters cast up a mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked." It means that sin robs man of inner peace and happiness. God's forgiveness is extended through the blood of Christ.
God's grace also gives man strength to live the Christian life. When Paul was tormented by Satan he asked God to get rid of his difficulty and God said, "My grace is enough for you," meaning God doesn't let Satan tempt us more than we are able to stand.
We want to dedicate our lives to God, imperfect though they are, but our abilities are spent on so many little things. Our calendars are crammed with many activities. We fritter away our money on frivolous things. We need God's help in separating the important choices from the impossible ones. It's difficult to answer God's call to do good in a world that is filled with temptation.
God's grace assures Christians of constant forgiveness. No Christian can live life absolutely free of sin. But, if we try to walk in the light of the Gospel, we can be assured of forgiveness. The ultimate goal of God is to destroy sin and its consequences once and for all. There is a constant battle being waged between good and evil, but God assures us that the victory over evil belongs to Him.
As Christians, we each have a grace that God has given us. He has plans for each and every one of us, and these plans belong to each individual alone. God has good plans for your life, to use you as His servant and as a blessing to others. Moreover, God enables us to fulfill what He has called us to: this is the grace of God.
The Apostle Paul's life clearly shows the grace of God. God had a plan for Paul's life, even though it seemed unlikely at first. Even though Paul sought to destroy the Christian church, God's grace intervened. Galatians 1:13-16 tells us this, "For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God, and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man." Paul deserved punishment, but God had mercy on him and instead used him to build His church throughout the Roman world.
God has always saved in exactly the same way. He told Noah to build an ark and Noah, through faith, was obedient to God's command. God told the Israelites in Egypt to smear lamb's blood over the lintels of the doors to avoid the death of their firstborn. Naaman was told to dip seven times in the Jordan River to be healed of his leprosy. Through faith, Naaman was obedient to the commands and was healed.
The circumstances of our lives are not fair, but God judges us fairly. He judges us according to the grace He has given us - our background, our surroundings, the resources we grew up with, our opportunities to learn about God and obey Him. There is no denying that some people have been given more opportunities than others, but with these opportunities comes responsibility. What matters is what we do with what God has given us.
God's grace has brought us all here today. By His grace, some of us have made it through difficult times, because God was watching over each and every one of us. But the fact is, all of us have taken God's grace for granted at times. We have chosen temporary things over eternal things. We have preferred other things over God, but the good news is that God gives us more grace. He gives us the chance to repent. If you feel despair because you've taken God's grace for granted, know that His grace is sufficient for you. God never wants us to sin, but He is always ready to restore us and put us on the right track again. The secret to staying in the grace of God is humility. We need God; without Him, we can do nothing.
The grace of God is freely and fully extended to men and women of every generation. We must come to the realization that we are sinners. We must bring ourselves to understand the nature of sin and its worldly and eternal consequences. We must recognize the remedy for sin, the blood of Christ. Then we must respond in faith, and only then will we be resurrected from the grave of sin.
Many things in life will fail us. Friendships will blossom and then die. Health can be an elusive thing. Riches and wealth will often remain just beyond the reach of your fmger tips. Those we love will pass from the scene leaving a void in our hearts hard to be filled. However, there is one thing that every child of God possesses that can never fail, never end, never run out, never run dry and that will never be found to be insufficient, and that is the grace of God. Yes, the road may be long and dreary, the days may be filled with difficulties and struggles, but rest assured that there will be grace sufficient for every need and every trial. That is the promise of God. The grace of God is like the melody line of a beautiful song. As a rule, only one note carries the melody, and all the other notes serve to compliment that one note with a harmony. Grace is the dominant note in God's dealings with us. His justice, His holiness and His omnipotence are all an integral part of the music of His character and activities, but your grace stands apart and above them all.
GRATITUDE WITH ATTITUDE
"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude" - a quote by author E.P. Powell.
"The loneliest flower that blooms in the garden of the heart is the flower of gratitude; and when gratitude dies on the altar of a man's heart, he is well nigh gone."
We are not born thankful. A little baby never thanks his mother for changing his diaper. A young toddler never thanks her Daddy for giving her a bath. We have to be taught thankfulness. When my children were small, all the kids would come upstairs after Sunday School, when the church service was over, and there, waiting at the door, was the "Jelly Bean Lady.' Mrs. Hooker gave each child a jelly bean for attending Sunday School and I would tell my children to say 'thank you.' Eventually it came automatically to them, without the reminder, but it shows that we, as parents, need to teach our children thankfulness.
Most of us have learned to say thank you to people who help us or are kind to us. But most of us have not learned to be truly thankful to God. We need to thank God for everything. As Canadians, and Christians,' we ought to be the most thankful for the things that we possess, not only materially, but spiritually. As Christians, we are blessed, because we are able to have a personal relationship with the Lord. Think of it, a personal relationship, one on one, with the creator of the universe!
I know that God is always with me: helping, guiding, teaching, correcting me. And if you have let God into your heart, you have Him there with you always, helping, guiding, teaching and correcting you. Knowing this, we should all be shouting here today, because we are so blessed. We should be shouting "Thank you, God, for being there for me!"
I remember a sermon John McPhadden once gave, in which he urged us all to keep a daily journal of all the things that happened to us each day that we were thankful for. And he said that we would be surprised at how full the pages would be, even after one week. He was right! I no longer keep the written journal, but I have continued to silently say thank you for everything that happens each day, even if I wake up to a sunny day, or see children laughing and playing together, or when my batch of cookies doesn't burn. And the best part of saying thank you is that it doesn't cost a thing!
What's the first thing you do when you get a great gift or a new car? You call, tell or drive that baby to your friends homes to show them and say - "Look what I just got!" We're proud of our possessions. We take pictures of our latest acquisitions and post them on Facebook. We tell of our great negotiation skills in the battle of options and price. Don't worry - it's okay to have fruits from your labour. You work hard for these blessings.
So how much more should we be proud about the precious gifts God gives us? If we can get so excited about a new car, what about eternal life? How excited should we be about that?
Psalm 103: 1-5 reads: "Bless the Lord, 0 my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle'S." We should aspire to be like the Christians of old, a people with passion and a fire in their bellies.
We need to rejoice in our salvation and look to our future prospect in heaven. Think about it: streets of gold, gates of pearl, walls of jasper. No sickness, disease or pain. A family reunion with loved ones, and most of all, getting to see Jesus!
If we are thankful, our love for God and others will deepen. Thanksgiving is a fundamental feature of the great religions of the world. Through the Word revealed, nature and human life are understood to have a purpose, a destiny and a direction. Our end is with God. Thanksgiving reminds us that pumpkins and squash, cucumbers and corn, apples and pears, are all part of that spiritual end and purpose that belongs to creation itself.
A celebration of the fruits of harvest is one of the oldest forms of man's offering of thanks to his maker. Apart from Christmas Eve and Easter, Thanksgiving is one of the most popular services in the church's calendar. It may be that saying thank you to God for something tangible is easier and more satisfying than offering gratitude for things that are more vague and tenuous. It may be that the fruits of the harvest, displayed in great profundity in our churches, give a real, physical sense of making an offering to God.
On this Thanksgiving Sunday, let's think about re-affirming and re-cultivating the Christian virtue of thankfulness. Through the symbolism of Harvest Thanksgiving, we remember to give thanks. And that's the purpose of today's service - to give thanks. We must pause in our daily routines and common tasks. We must pause and say "Thank you!' Thank you for all those good things that have come our way this year!
Thankfulness is an attitude central to Christian belief. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 26, thankfulness was part of Moses' main address to the people of Israel. Following the commands to offer thanksgiving to God, are instructions for the people once they enter into the Promised Land. The occasion was the harvest pilgrimage festival when the worshippers gave thanks for God's generosity, his gift of land which produced food abundantly, a land we are told, 'flowing with milk and honey.' Moses urged the people to be thankful. The act of thankfulness was to give back to God the first and best of the produce of the land. It is clear that the overwhelming message here is one of deep thankfulness for what God has done for them. This is shown in the words of a Thanksgiving hymn. "Give thanks my soul for harvest, for store of fruit and grain, but know the owner gives so that we may share again. Where people suffer hunger, or little children cry, with gifts from God's rich bounty, may thankfulness reply."
A medieval mystic once said, "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." It's an easy prayer to remember. To say thank you is simple and straight forward, but if the truth be told, it's a prayer we so often forget.
Yet, is saying thank you enough? On one hand, it is enough, but it's hardly a complete fulfillment of what thankfulness is all about. Thanksgiving is both a mental attitude and a physical response. Thankfulness is both faith and works. Some verses in the Book of Leviticus note that the ancient Hebrews were told to leave the remnants of their harvest for the poor and the stranger in their midst. The harvest Thanksgiving in Israel wasn't complete if the people gathered up all their crops and kept it for themselves. Gratitude without sharing was no gratitude at all.
We so often don't appreciate what we have and we need to be reminded of this. I came across a little story, or modern parable if you will, that is worth sharing.
One afternoon, a shopper at a local mall, felt the need for a coffee break. She bought herself a little bag of cookies and put them in her shopping bag. She then got in line for coffee, found a place to sit at one of the crowded tables, and then, taking the lid off her coffee and taking out a magazine, she began to sip her coffee and read. Across the table from her was a man reading a newspaper.
After a minute or two, she reached out and took a cookie. As she did, the man seated across the table reached out and took one too. This put her off, but she didn't say anything.
A few moments later she took another cookie. Once again the man did so too. Now she was getting a bit upset, but still she did not say anything.
After having a couple of sips of coffee she once again took another cookie. So did the man. She was really upset by this - especially since now there was only one cookie left. Apparently the man also realized that only one cookie was remained. Before she could say anything, he took it, broke it in half, offered half to her, and proceeded to eat the other half himself. Then he smiled at her and, putting his paper under his arm, rose and walked off.
Was she steamed! Her coffee ruined, already thinking of how she would tell this offense to her family, she folded her magazine, opened her shopping bag, and there discovered her own unopened bag of cookies.
I like the story because it reminds me of how well God treats us even when we don't treat Him well or think badly about Him. The Book of Deuteronomy tells us that everything we have is a gift from God. If we would remember this all the time, it would make our lives so much easier, and it would bless everyone around us, and it would bless God. A couple of years ago, famous people all over the world were polled by a magazine which asked them: "If you could be granted one wish that will come true right now, what would that be?" There were some very interesting responses, but one response impressed the magazine's editor so much that they commented on it. That one response was this: "I wish that I could be given an even greater ability to appreciate all that I already have."
When we allow a difficult situation that we are in swallow us up and to swallow all thought of God's power and goodness, when we begin to think we have earned and deserve all the good things we have, and when we forget that God is able to help us in the midst of all the bad things that occur, life becomes bleaker, and true virtue becomes harder to find. God wants us to celebrate His love and to give thanks in everything. He wants this because it will bless us, and because it will bless the world He has made. He wants us to remember what He has done. He wants us to remember and give thanks to Him and to those around us.
Today we need to remember that we are celebrating thanks-giving and not thanks-getting. We need to reclaim the attitude and actions expressed by the ancient Hebrews. Let us thank God for life; thank God for food; thank God for family and friends; thank God for the opportunity of living our lives in this rich and beautiful land, a land that could be said to be "flowing with milk and honey." Let us thank God for being able to express our gratitude in acts of love, sharing and giving. Only then will we be able to gather in church, stand before God, and, like the valleys that stand so thick with corn, and with the Psalmist, laugh and sing. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to His name."
I'd like to leave you with a quote by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not just to utter words, but to live by them."
Praise be to God and thanksgiving for His many blessings.
LOVE FEAST October 6, 2013
It was 40 years ago when I had my first experience of an Agape Feast:
** at a church conference foe Sunday School teachers
**describe circles—crusty loaf of bread—water—passing elements
darkened room—candle in center.
In the past several years I have shared in numerous Agape Feasts in Howick, Riverfield, Huntingdon and Dundee. And each service was different and each one was a meaningful expression of selfless LOVE.
I think it is being revived in many small churches today, especially in rural areas, probably due to lack of ordained clergy available for formal Communion services.
The ritual of love feasts goes far back in the Jewish history.
The three major celebrations found in the Hebrew scripture and are still practiced today are:
**The Feast of Weeks—giving of the 10 Commandments.
and presenting the first fruits to the temple.
**The Feast of Booths—thanksgiving, especially for God’s protection during 40 years in the wilderness.
**The Feast of the Passover—deliverance from bondage, given freedom.
All these Jewish festivals involved a love feast, a meal celebrating God’s selfless love for his people.
In Genesis we read of the importance of being hospitable to everyone who passes you by. The 3 strangers came by Abraham’s tent and he insisted that they eat with them and goes out of his way to make them feel at home.
In the Book of Acts, we are given a glimpse the early church community, the action of an intimate group of believers --All share their processions-- pray together-- live together-- and give thanks and eat and drink together in love feasts.
AGAPE is the Greek word for LOVE, particularly applied to selfless Love and such meals were widespread in the early Christian Church.
So it’s no surprise that simple Love Feast (as the Agape service was called) was practiced in the early Protestant Churches.
The service comes from the tradition of the Protestant Moravian Church. Love Feasts were celebrated to affirm the unity of Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the congregation sings the women diners enter, carrying baskets of "Moravian buns," a slightly sweetened dinner role about the size of a hamburger bun. These baskets are passed up and down the pews.
Next comes the coffee. This time the female and male diners enter with Cups of coffee, laced with sugar and cream, are then passed down the pews a cup at a time.
When everyone has been served-----sometimes as many as 400 people the pastor stands and leads the congregation in the "Moravian Blessing." and then proceeded with their Communion Service.
John Wesley the founder of Methodism greatly admired the Moravian’s faith in 1742 he introduced the Love Feast to the Methodist Church. As there was a lack of ordained ministers within Methodism, the Love Feast took on a life of its own, as there were few opportunities to take communion.
So you can see this is not something new or never been done in church before, you can see it has a long history.
When we look at Jesus’ life we immediately see he recognized food was a common need, and many of the most dramatic moments of JESUS’ life involve meals.
What are of the stories of Jesus where a MEAL was central to the story, can you remember?
**ROAD TO EMMAUS--After his resurrection, Jesus walks with two followers along the road to Emmaus and sat down for a meal. During the blessing of the food, they recognized who he was.
**ZACKESUS-- the tax collector. In recruiting him as a follower, Jesus when to his house for refreshments. Recall the song Going to your house for tea..
**FEEDING THE 5000-- once again mealtime was central to the story.
** making wine---dining with sinners.
**The Last Supper—In last weeks announcements Karen called our celebration AGAPE COMMUNION. Let’s think about the Last Supper, here Jesus and his disciples were eating and enjoying a meal together—having an AGAPE FEAST—to celebrate THE PASSOVER. During the meal Jesus took common elements they were sharing, bread and wine, and proposed a toast to remember him after his death and resurrection.
We see the close link between Communion and the AGAPE FEAST. It gives us a celebration to remind us of God’s love for each one of us and our love for each other.
Think for a moment how many events in our lives include a meal:
Funerals—marriages—church suppers—luncheons—anniversaries—birthdays—retirement—golf tournaments—even the bridge group at our house ends with a gathering at the table.
WHY? because eating allows us to relax.—to let lose--It gives us a chance to talk to each other—to let down our hair!
I just have to think of what goes on in our house, when the entire family gets together, to know the importance of mealtime.
There are--Quiet discussions,-- fixed opinions, --heated arguments—lots of laughter-- all happen when we sit down to share a meal together. What about your mealtime ?
Other important things I can think of are:
-warmth of touching one another--maybe it’s rubbing elbows
-The taste and smells make us anxious to get started
-The tenderness shown in the preparation.
-The togetherness felt in the cleanup.
Food and drink are the essentials for life, and there is no better way to express our selfless love than having an Agape Feast.
Our rapid changing world warrants that our church maintain our meals together not just Agape ritual feasts, but also the coffee time after church and the suppers and luncheons.
As families get smaller—seniors find themselves alone--people live further apart--Busy schedules--Financial demands—global trade—climate change—fresh water—increasing poverty.
All these changes make this church family more important as the vehicle to bring HOPE, LOVE and CARING to each others lives!!
William Willimon, in his book “Worship as Pastoral Care” makes a sharp observation:
**You have heard it said that the family that prays together stays together. I say to you that the family that eats together stays together.
**He asks “Could the contemporary breakdown of many of our families be attributed to our families’ so rarely eating together?”
**Think how much more basic is this table fellowship for the family of God. Something sacred happens to people who have shared food and drink.
**Wow! . What an incredible thought! “Something sacred happens to people who have shared food and drink.”
This morning we share in an Agape meal or commonly called a Love Feast. We will be using the elements of APPLE SLICES AND GRAPES and apple juice: I sincerely hope everyone will find it a meaningful expression of your love of God and our love for each other as a community of Faith.
Let us start by singing verses I & 2 of the hymn “Let us break bread together.”
Let us pray:
Dear Lord as we gather around your table to partake in this love feast, we ask you to fill our hearts and minds with your presence. Help us to feel your Spirit moving amongst us as we pass food and drink to each other.
May the love we have for our neighbours and our community be enhanced through the sharing of this meal and we will leave Your table refreshed and filled with your Love. AMEN
It is important that each of us participate in this meal and to pass on love to the member sitting beside you. I encourage you to eat and drink as you receive the elements.
As we pass the apple slices and grapes to each other I would like you to say to the person next to you:
“God loves you and so do I.”
As we pass the tray of apple juice, I would like you to say to your neighbour, sitting beside you,
“I’m glad you’re here this morning.”
Let us pray:
Lord we are glad to be here and share in this Agape Love Feast.
It symbolizes our love for you and for each other and your everlasting Love for each of us. As we were sharing in this your table we could feel your Spirit pulsing through our bodies. Help us to take your love out into the wider communities where we work and play and be a joy to all we meet. AMEN
Let us continue singing Verses 3 of the hymn “Let us brake read together”
CLOSING HYMN: Seek Ye First # 625
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