Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Purposeful Prayer - Doug Rehberg

It’s one of the toughest marathons. It’s a grueling endurance race from Sydney, Australia to Melbourne—545 miles. And in 1983, 150 world-class runners gathered for the race. Among them was a toothless, 61-year-old sheepherder and potato farmer, named Cliff Young. As he approached the registration table, everyone thought he was there to watch the race. He was dressed in overalls and rubber work boots. Cliff worked on a farm all his life. It was a modest farm without the benefit of horse or 4-wheel drive. So when it comes time to rounding up the sheep, he had to do it on foot over the 2,000 acres. Sometimes he had to run two to three days to complete the round-up. And as he mingles with the other runners at the starting line, everyone thinks it’s a joke. He takes off in a kind of leisurely shuffle. Those watching in person and on television say to each other, “Somebody ought to stop that old man before he kills himself.” But 5 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes later, Cliff Young comes shuffling across the finish line 10 hours ahead of the next runner. All over Australia people are stunned. He had broken the previous record by 9 hours, and everyone wants to know how he did it. It isn’t long before they find out.

Everyone knows that to run a marathon like this, runners run for 18 hours and then sleep for 6 hours for five or six days. But no one told Cliff. He just shuffled along day and night, night and day without stopping. And because of it, he became a national hero. In fact, professional runners began to study his shuffle and experiment with it. Today, many long distance runners have adopted the “Young shuffle” as a way of increasing their endurance.

Endurance is one of the features Paul longs to see in the lives of the new Christians at Colossae. The writer of Hebrews pinpointed the need for endurance in chapter 12 when he says, “…looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…”

A few years ago I heard David Brancaccio of National Public Radio talking about a term of economic analysis called, “Hyperbolic Discounting.”  It’s something nearly everyone engages in these days on a regular basis. We discount the future for the sake of the present. Let me give you an example. Suppose someone says to you, “I’ll give you $100 today or $120 next year on this day.” Which would you take? 95% of all Americans will take the $100 today, even though they could make 20% on that money by waiting a year. Now why would anyone do that? The answer’s simple. We discount the value of the future gain by the length of time it takes to get it. In other words, we may opt for a dollar or more in a week or two, but we’re not going to wait around for a year for 20 more bucks. The longer we have to wait, the less we value it. Now why is that? Because the future is too vague to us. We can’t see it. We’re financially nearsighted.

But Brancaccio doesn’t stop there. He reaches out to Dr. Joseph Kable, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychiatry of the University of Pennsylvania, and he asks, “Is there a pill I can take? Is there some corrective lens I can wear that will eliminate hyperbolic discounting?” The professor laughs and says, “I think we’re all looking for a cure. There’s no cure, but there are exercises that a person can do to strengthen their financial insight. For instance, you can interview your future self.” You say, “What’s that mean?” Ask yourself, “In five years where would I like to be? In ten years what will I value more than I do today?” But Brancaccio went one better. He found a 94-year-old named Hal and asked him, “Should I borrow the money to redo my 1960s kitchen?” Hal winced and said, “No way. Do a little bit at a time, as much as you can afford, as you go along.” “Should I save for my kid’s college education or should I buy a new Apple watch?” Hal smiled and said, “I think you know the answer to that. Besides, I saw a Timex at Marshalls for $25.”

Now think of Jesus. “…for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross…” Meaning what? Meaning there’s no near-sightedness in Him. In fact, He sets it before Him. Now think of what the writer of Hebrews is telling us. When Jesus went to the cross He was a volunteer. No one made Him go. He chose to go. When he rides into Jerusalem that day it was a transformational event. For three years He has avoided the acclamation of the crowd. For three years He has refused their coronation. And yet here, on this day, He chose to go from teacher to king, from Rabbi to Redeemer. He can avoid the cross. He can succumb to that temptation, but He doesn’t.

You say, “How could He endure it? How could He not break down and call that legion of angels?” The writer tells us, “For the joy that was set before him…” Meaning what? Meaning the way Jesus overcame the obstacles was by refusing to fix His eyes on Himself.

You say, “But if Jesus took His eyes off Himself who was He looking at?” He was looking at you! The joy that was set before Him is you. Don’t you see it? He endured the cross, despising its shame for you! You’re part of His bride. You’re part of the plan. You’re part of the prize. And you know how I know that? Jesus sat down on the right hand of the throne of God where He’s praying for you. Think of that. No matter whether it’s in the Upper Room or Gethsemane, Calvary or the throne, His eyes are never nearsighted.

They’re never fixed on Himself. He never engages in hyperbolic discounting. His eyes are on you. He sees you completely. He sees you complete. He sees you as a finished product. No wonder He’s full of joy. He sees you complete through His work on the cross every day. And all that is by way of introduction into Sunday’s message, “Purposeful Prayer,” based on Colossians 1:9-14.

For here in the middle of Paul’s introduction he describes where his thanksgiving for the Colossians takes him. It takes him into a prayer for their endurance in Christ. And as we will see on Sunday, in it he will show us the pattern, the practice, and the power of prayer. It’s a model for what our prayers can be. In preparation for Sunday you may wish to consider the following:

1. If gratitude is the result of acknowledging God’s sovereignty over our lives, what does prayer acknowledge?
2. Whose prayers are featured most prominently in the New Testament?
3. What one characteristic is most essential in prayer?
4. Why does Paul pray for things that are so different from the things that possess us?
5. What is it that prompts Paul to pray without ceasing for the Colossians? (See verse 9.)
6. What does “spiritual wisdom” mean? (See verse 9.)
7. What does it mean “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”? (verse 10)
8. What’s the key to endurance and joyful patience? (See verses 11 & 12.)
9. How important is our inheritance in changing our lives?

See you Sunday as we gather around the table!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Life of a Believer - Henry Knapp


As many of you might know, I have only recently begun serving here on staff at Hebron. With great excitement, I look forward to the opportunity to honor our Lord with you as we minister in His name. I have lots of daydreams of what the position might look like; many thoughts of how I could serve God here; plenty of visions of what might happen in the years ahead. But I do know one thing for certain: I would love my work to be thought of like Paul thinks of the ministry of Epaphras.

We don’t know a lot about Epaphras. Besides a few comments in the book of Colossians, and a passing reference in Paul’s letter to Philemon, Epaphras is completely unknown to us. We can gather from the references that Epaphras heard the Gospel of Christ (perhaps from Paul himself), and then was central in sharing that Good News in the city of Colossae. Beyond that, little is known. Yet, in just a few verses, Paul inspires me with the description of his friend—inspires me, and, God-willing, motivates me to be the best minister I can be, more and more faithful to our Lord.

Here’s how Paul describes Epaphras: “our beloved fellow servant,” “a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,” one who “made known to us your love in the Spirit.” Wow! What a description!

To be “beloved” means that you are held in such high esteem by others that they give themselves fully to you. “Beloved” entails commitment, dedication, devotion; not just emotion, but not less than that either. Epaphras had the kind of character that enabled people to love him, to connect with him, to be committed with him.

The phrase, “fellow servant,” is loaded—loaded with meaning, loaded with challenge. To be a servant is to dedicate yourself to another, to their goals, their purpose, and their benefit. It means giving yourself away, not for yourself, but for another. To be a servant is to intentionally make yourself less so that another might be more. And, to do this with others, to be a “fellow” in the midst of your serving, makes it all that much more difficult, and fulfilling!

“A faithful minister.” One who serves for the benefit of others, and who does this with integrity. But, the focus here on “faithful” is not a characteristic of the minister, but on the object of the minister’s faith—that is, on Christ. No matter how attentive, how compassionate, how nurturing one is, what sets Epaphras apart is his faithful service to Jesus.

Serving Christ. And, serving Christ “on your behalf.” The idea is that Epaphras never lost sight of the very human element of the Gospel—that Christ gave himself so that we might benefit. So, in his ministry, Epaphras (and all good ministers) serves the Lord, and the Lord does what He does—pours out grace to his people.

Clearly, Epaphras knew his Lord, and served his Lord. But more than that, Epaphras shared about his Lord. Jesus was not simply something personal and private to Epaphras. The Gospel so dominated Epaphras’s life that he spoke of Christ to the Colossians, and spoke of Christ’s work in the Colossian church to Paul.

OK, now, here’s the kicker…: Epaphras serves, not just as a model for those of us serving our Lord in “professional ministry,” but for all those who claim the name of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Yes, I want Paul’s description of Epaphras to apply to me… but not because I am a pastor, but because I am a Christian. You, too, are called to follow, to love, and to serve Jesus. And, in so doing, you are called to be, “a beloved fellow servant,” “a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,” one who “made known the love of the Spirit.”
This Sunday, we continue in our look at Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, and we will see the outcome of a ministry like Epaphras’ (and, God-willing, a ministry like yours). In preparation, you may wish to consider the following:

1. Why might Paul need to remind the Colossians about the character and faithfulness of Epaphras?

2. Of the traits listed, which do you most “resonate” with? Which might you need to exercise more?

3. Who in your life might speak of you the way Paul spoke of Epaphras?

4. Why does Paul qualify the Colossians’ love as “your love in the Spirit?” What difference does “in the Spirit” make?

5. What makes someone “beloved” to you? What qualities are present for “beloved” to apply?

6. If a “servant” willingly becomes “less” so that another might become “more,” are you a servant?

7. Do you think of yourself as a minister? Why/why not?

See you Sunday!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Will of God - Doug Rehberg


When I was in high school my parents moved our family from the North Hills of Pittsburgh to Tidewater, Virginia. It was not a move that I welcomed. I was comfortably ensconced in my school and social sphere. I had no desire to move 450 miles away, where I knew no one.

But of all the lures to stay, there was one that tethered me to North Allegheny more than any others – track and field. Throughout junior high and into the tenth grade I ran track for the Tigers, competing in several track and field events. My place on the team was secure. The future looked bright; then the move.

What I never could have anticipated was what I discovered when I arrived in Virginia. Not only did they have a good track team, their coach was a man named Jerry Gaines. I quickly learned that Jerry was the first African American to receive a full scholarship to Virginia Tech. He was a world-class hurdler who ran in the Olympic trials against Rod Milburn, the American gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Suffice to say it took only a few days for the memories of N.A. to fade and the dreams of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Virginia to capture me. Under Jerry’s tutelage my track and field focus narrowed considerably from five events to three, with a central focus on the hurdles.

I have often thought of the providential blessing it was to move at that time. What appeared to be a major disappointment turned into an unexpected and unanticipated joy. I was able to learn from a master hurdler. In fact, to this day I remember him saying on numerous occasions when we were dogging it, or when we thought we had accomplished something great, “I’ve been where you still have got to go!” No coach, in any sport, ever influenced me as much as Jerry Gaines.

I’ve thought a lot about Jerry over the past few weeks as I have been preparing, with Henry, to lead you in a study of the book of Colossians. It’s not an unfamiliar book to many of you who have gone through The Course of Your Life. It is the letter that forms the foundation of the Course of Your Life study; and I commend that study to all of you.

The striking similarity between Paul and Jerry Gaines is that they spent their time on nobodies. We were nobodies. Paul’s writing to a group of people he’s never met. He’s never even been to the town of Colossae. One famous New Testament scholar calls Colossae, “The most unimportant town to which Paul ever wrote.” Based on worldly measures they were nobodies just like the Western Branch track team was to Jerry Gaines, and yet, he valued them.

More importantly, the letter of Colossians is the most complete and insightful description of the nature of Jesus Christ we find anywhere in Scripture. To put it in theological terms: The letter of Colossians contains the highest Christology found anywhere in the Bible. What we find are words as relevant to us in our Christian lives as they were to their Christian lives. Paul’s purpose in writing is the same as the Holy Spirit’s purpose in our lives – to grow us up in the faith, to present us mature in Christ, so that He may use us to glorify Himself.

This week we begin a new series entitled, “The Incomparable Christ.” This week’s message is on Colossians 1:1-2 entitled, “The Will of God.” We will be focusing our attention on four points: The Place, The People, The Problem, and The Purpose.

In preparation you may wish to consider the following:

1. Where is Colossae?
2. Why would J.B. Lightfoot call it an unimportant town?
3. What populated the town?
4. How did a church begin there?
5. Why did Paul feel compelled to unite them from prison?
6. What prison was he in?
7. What does Paul mean in verse 1 when he says, “by the will of God”?
8. What does “to the saints and faithful brothers” mean?
9. What is the essence of the problem at Colossae?
10. How does Paul use the salutation, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father” as a perfect encapsulation of what Christ has done for us?

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Promises of God - Doug Rehberg


Years ago Donald Grey Barnhouse told the story of living in France during his student days when the Lord used him to lead a young woman to Christ.

Several years later this woman became the wife of one of the French pastors in the South of France. She often went to the Barnhouse home to visit. One day she saw him taking verses from a “promise box” – a small box that held about two-hundred promises from the Bible printed on heavy paper and curled into cylinders. Barnhouse said, “We used to take one out and read it when we needed a special word of comfort.” So this woman made a promise box of her own, writing these same special divine promises in French.

Throughout the years the promise box was used regularly by her family. She used it with her children when they were young, and the result was that each one of her kids grew to trust the Word of God and believe in His promises.

But during the Second World War she and her family were impoverished. Her husband was still preaching and teaching, but no one had much money to support his work. In fact, the only food they had were the potato peelings that were generated by a small local restaurant. Her children were emaciated; they cried to her for food. Their clothing was almost in rags, and their shoes were worn through.

In one of her most tragic moments she turned to the promise box in desperation. She prayed, “O Lord, I have such great need. Is there a promise here that is really for me? Show me, O Lord, what promise I can have in this time of famine, peril, and sword.” She was blinded by her tears, and in reaching for the box, she knocked it over. The promises showered down around her, on her lap, on the floor; not one was left in the box.

Suddenly, she said, “I knew at that moment a supreme joy. In that moment the Holy Spirit suffused me with divine power and light. I realized that all of the promises were indeed for me in the very hour of my greatest need.”

Of all the meanings of Christmas none are truer or more reliable than this one – God keeps His promises. Indeed, the whole testimony of Scripture is that in Jesus Christ all of the promises of God are yes and amen! Simply put, everything God ever intended to do He does in Christ Jesus.

That is why this Christmas Sunday we are going to look at a set of seven promises that God makes to Abraham, Moses, and Jeremiah. Each one finds their complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Like that woman in France, God intends for us to remember His promises. For many of us two-hundred are difficult to keep foremost in our minds. So how about seven of them? If only you and I could every day remember these seven, oh, how much richer and more productive our lives would be.

In preparation for the message entitled, “The Promises of God,” you may wish to consider the following:

1. Read Exodus 6:1-8 and Jeremiah 31:31-34.
2. What does Exodus 6:9 say about you?
3. What seven promises of God can you pick out of Exodus 6:2-8?
4. What is the significance of the number seven in Scripture?
5. What is the difference between us and the Israelites when it comes to these promises?
6. What three promises can you find in verse 6?
7. What do the words, “And I will take you to be my people” mean in verse 7?
8. What two promises can you find in verse 8?
9. What is the big deal about a promise of land?
10. What is the big deal about a promise of the possession of it?

See you Sunday and Monday!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Taking Dead Aim - Doug Rehberg


The boy sat with his mother in church and listened to the sermon entitled, “What is a Christian?” Every time the minister came to the end of a point he’d bang the pulpit and say, “What is a Christian?”

Finally, after several points the little boy turned to his mother and whispered, “Mama, do you know?” His mother turned to him and said, “Yes, dear. Now sit still and listen.”

The little boy turned back in obedience and began to listen. Finally, the minister came to his final point. He banged the pulpit especially hard and shouted, “I ask you, what is a Christian?” All this was too much for the little guy, so he jumped to his feet and cried out, “Tell him, Mama, tell him!”

Years ago at Christmas I received a couple of golf books including Tom Kite’s book entitled, Lessons I Learned on Life and Golf from Harvey Penick.

Now Harvey Penick was one of the greatest golf instructors of all time. He taught thousands to play the game, including Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. For over 60 years people would flock to Austin, Texas from around the world to have Penick teach them.

He was a remarkable man. He used to keep a little red notebook in his back pocket in which he’d jot down principles he’d discovered in teaching the game of golf. Over the years, he filled several red notebooks, and for years people begged to see them. Kite asked. Crenshaw asked. People around the world asked, and each time Harvey said flatly, “No”. Several years ago, under pressure from his son and current golf instructor, Tinsley, Harvey relented; and the Little Red Book was born. As soon as it hit the shelves it became a runaway bestseller. It’s a must read for every golf professional. It’s a must read for every golfer. And when you read it, you discover that of all the principles Harvey isolates, one stands out.

It's in Kite’s book. It’s in Crenshaw’s book. It’s in every review of Harvey Penick’s teaching. It’s the line Ben Crenshaw says was going over and over in his mind on the back nine at Augusta in 1995 when he won the Master’s five days after Harvey’s death.

Harvey says, “I can’t say it too many times. It’s the most important advice in this book. ‘Take Dead Aim.’ Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in your life at that moment. Shut out all thoughts other than picking out a target and taking dead aim at it.”

That’s what John does.

Of all the four Gospels, John’s Gospel is first and foremost evangelistic. His targets are men and women. His aim is that they might know the Son of God and that He might transform their lives.

According to John, knowing Jesus Christ should radically change your life. In fact, he’s so confident of this change that he begins his Gospel with the words, “In the beginning…” For John, the transformation Christ makes in a life is as radical as a new creation.

Now some suggest that this text, these first 18 verses, were written after the completion of chapter 21. In other words, sitting down and writing about all he’s seen and heard, he composes the prologue: “In the beginning was the Word…” And when you read it you get the sense that John can hardly contain himself. He packs into these 18 verses so much truth that you wonder how he does it. Teresa of Avila once said, “I only wish I could write with both hands, so as not to forget one thing while I’m trying to say another.” That’s how John must have felt.

In these 18 verses John summarizes the whole of the Gospel. Now, we usually read this text at Christmas time, and we think about the Babe in the manger. God became a man in the womb of a woman! The Creator of all flesh becomes enmeshed in flesh. The non-carnate becomes incarnate. But for John there’s much more to this text than that.

Here in these 18 verses John sets forth four dramatic implications of the incarnation. “God became a man. Great, so what?” John answers that question. That’s our message this third Sunday of Advent.

In preparation for Sunday’s message, “Taking Dead Aim” you may wish to consider the following:

1. What evidence is there in John’s gospel that he may have written 1:1-18 last?
2. What is John saying about the identity of Jesus in verses 1-3?
3. Why is the insertion of John the Baptist in verses 6-8 so significant to John’s message?
4. What biblical doctrine is being described by John in verse 12?
5. What does this say about the widely-held view that everyone is a child of God?
6. What biblical doctrine is being described in verse 13?
7. What is John saying here about man’s free will?
8. Why is this such a hard truth for people, even Christians, to believe?
9. What biblical doctrine is John describing in verse 18?
10. How do verses 16-18 agree with what Paul says in Ephesians 1 & 2?

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Reformed But Always Reforming - Scott Parsons


My wife and daughters love the Nutcracker.  They have seen it several times and get excited anytime a new version or rendition comes out.  It is a yearly tradition in our family.  Unfortunately, I find the Nutcracker to be dreadfully boring and a waste of time.  I actually think I have made a reasonable attempt to like it.  I even took my wife, Kim, to New York to see the New York Ballet Company perform it.  It was apparently well done.  Kim really enjoyed it.  I experienced a good nap after intermission.  I know I ought to like and enjoy it.  I just don’t.  Maybe it’s because I don’t understand it, or don’t enjoy ballet, but for whatever reason I just can’t get into it. 

I know that many people feel the same way about Christmas in general.  The reality of Christmas is great and glorious, but our personal experience never measures up to our expectations. Most people who struggle with Christmas treat it like I do the Nutcracker…you know you ought to like and enjoy it, but you just don’t.  So usually the solution is to avoid it as much as possible but work to have a good attitude about it when you can’t.

I think part of the problem is that many of us have unwittingly traded the biblical view of Christmas for a cultural one.  We glamorize and sanitize Christmas to the point that the true reality of Christmas gets lost.  The coming of Jesus was neither glamorous nor exciting.  The reality was harsh and difficult.  The problems and struggles that the participants of the Luke 2 narrative were going through did not go away because of the events of that night.  And yet, the angel claims to bring the shepherds a message of good news that will bring them great joy.  Maybe part of our struggle to find joy at Christmas is that we have begun to focus on personal or cultural expectations of Christmas rather than the good news that Jesus actually came to bring.  I would encourage you to carefully read through Luke 2:1-20 prior to Sunday, and then ask Jesus to prepare your heart to be challenged and encouraged by the good news that is truly Christmas.

Blessings,

Scott

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Delightful Dedication - Doug Rehberg


The man writes, “Growing up in Southern California, my family regularly attended the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. My mind swirls with memories of those magic mornings: waking up before dawn, bundling up with mittens and ski caps, walking in crowds of hurrying parade enthusiasts, anticipating a stunning pageant of floats and bands.

“I loved a parade then – and I still do – but the closest I have come to participating in a parade was my graduation processional at Harvard. Several weeks after submitting my doctoral dissertation, I flew back to Cambridge, Massachusetts for the ceremony. The other doctoral students and I, fully decked out in academic regalia of bright crimson robes, marched through Harvard Yard amid crowds, banners, music, and buoyant jubilation. Pageantry abounded everywhere – lots of pomp and plenty of circumstance. I felt the exuberant joy of having finished a long project – something I missed in the Federal Express office where I actually completed twelve years of graduate school by mailing off an approved dissertation. Not until the moment of parade and pageantry did I feel like I had truly graduated.”

But not all love a parade. Listen to what one Washington Post reporter thinks of President Trump’s dream of a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

“Trump will get his absurd military parade – thanks to the Republicans who indulge his egomania. In the Trump presidency, some controversies are appalling, some are terrifying, and some are just plain stupid… This one falls into the stupid category.

“Donald Trump’s military parade is shaping up to cost $80 million more than initially estimated… I realize that Donald Trump is a ridiculous narcissist, but what’s so exasperating about this parade is that it isn’t just Trump being Trump on his own. It requires taxpayers to shell out $92 million… it requires the time, attention, and energy of the armed forces.”

Senator John N. Kennedy (R) said, “I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea. Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud. When you’re the most powerful nation in all of human history, you don’t have to show it off.”

Now whether it’s a parade in Pasadena, Boston, or Washington, D.C. there are always proponents and opponents. I for one went to only one of my five graduations under duress. But whether it’s botany, academic achievement, or military power that brings people together for a parade, the common feature is the celebration of accomplishment. It’s a delight that’s derived from celebrating the fruits of your labor.

When we come to Nehemiah 12 this week we find a celebration that exacts a huge price from all those involved. It’s a celebratory dedication that extends far beyond any human accomplishment. What we have here is the dedication of the city to God Himself. This is the culmination of years of prayer and diligence. While many Bibles designate Nehemiah 12:27 ff as a description of the dedication of the wall, it’s much more than that! It’s the dedication of the people of God to Him. Simply put, it’s a profound expression of true worship – the dedication of God’s people to God Himself. And like any true dedication it exacts a price.

We are going to dig into all of this on Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, in a message entitled, “Delightful Dedication.” In preparation for the message you may wish to consider the following:

1. When does this dedication celebration occur?
2. Why the delay?
3. How do chapters 7 through 11 inform us of the nature of this dedication?
4. Chapter 12:31 marks the first time Nehemiah refers to himself since 7:5. What does that say about Nehemiah? How does he differ from Solomon in I Kings 7 & 8?
5. Why are many of the Levites not living within the walls of Jerusalem at this time? (See verse 27).
6. Why assemble singers, musicians, etc.?
7. What sacrifices do the people of Israel bear in this dedication celebration?
8. Who is the focus of their celebration?
9. Why does Nehemiah send the choirs in two opposite directions on the wall? (See verses 31 & 38).
10. What do you make of this witness in verse 43?

See you Sunday as we celebrate together at the Lord’s Table Jesus’ perfect sacrifice in coming to this world and going to the cross.