Eucharist

Worship Service for September 6, 2020

WELCOME

Good morning. Welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online video presentation. I thank my wife, Gail, for being behind the camera as I speak and Lindsay Brandenburg for receiving and posting these files to Youtube so that you can participate.

Meanwhile, our church leaders are moving toward being able to live-stream so that what you see will be taking place live on Sunday mornings, rather than seeing a recording made on Friday afternoons.

Allow me to pray for you who are reading this:

Dear Lord, I am grateful for all those who have decided to gather for worship in this way. We are grateful for the technology and the volunteers who make this possible. I pray, Lord, for those who are watching from the safety of their homes. I pray that even though they have not gathered with others to worship that they will be conscious of the bond of unity with their other sisters and brothers in Christ at CrossPointe. As Jesus prayed, we are one with You and therefore one with one another regardless if we share the same space. And I pray that You will keep us together in this way until it becomes possible for us to all see each other face to face.

With that in mind, we continue to pray for an end to this pandemic. We continue to pray that a safe and effective vaccine will be available as soon as possible. We pray for those who are ill that they may soon recover. We pray for those who are grieving that You would bring peace. We pray for those who do not have a faith relationship with You that they might, as a result of this time, begin to hunger and thirst for the love, peace, and hope that only You can provide. And we pray that we might be your instrument in helping make that happen; through our prayers and through the sharing of our faith.

And, last of all, we pray that You would use this time as we watch this video to draw us ever closer to You for the sake of Your Son Jesus, in whose name we pray, amen.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Since we changed our worship time to 9:30 am, I will remain after worship until 12 noon for those of you who wish to drop off your offering. You may place it in the box that is located in the lobby.

If you prefer to send your offering in the mail, the address is

CrossPointe Community Church
P. O. Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215-0126

This coming Thursday I am hosting an hour-long Orientation for Disciple I Bible Study. I invite you to come and see what it’s about and then decide if you’d like to take it.

Today is Communion Sunday. Everyone who has faith in Christ is welcome to partake of the sacrament. You may want to stop here and prepare your communion elements.

Once again, let us open our hearts to praising and hearing the Word of the Lord by reading through the worship service. Please take advantage of the opportunity to read, pause, reflect and pray when you feel led. I hope you also noticed that most of this service is also available in video format on the same page where you accessed this.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
Sing about the glory of His name!
Tell the world how glorious He is.
Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds!
Your enemies cringe before Your mighty power.
Everything on earth will worship You;
they will sing Your praises,
shouting Your name in glorious songs!

Psalm 66:1-4

HYMNS OF PRAISE

Shout to the North

Smith, Martin

Men of faith rise up and sing
Of the great and glorious King.
You are strong when you feel weak,
In your brokenness complete.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Rise up women of the truth,
Stand and sing to broken hearts,
Who can know the healing pow’r
Of our glorious King of love.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Rise up church with broken wings;
Fill this place with songs again,
Of our God who reigns on high:
By His grace again we’ll fly.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

We’ve been through fire,
We’ve been through rain.
We’ve been refined by the pow’r of His name.
We’ve fallen deeper in love with You,
You’ve burned the truth on our lips.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Lord of heaven and earth,
He is Lord of heaven and earth.

©1995 Curious? Music UK (admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Shout to the Lord

Zschech, Darlene

My Jesus, my Savior,
Lord there is none like You,
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing,
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands.
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand.

Nothing compares to the promise I have,
Nothing compares to the promise I have,
Nothing compares to the promise
I have… in You.

©1993 Darlene Zschech (Hillsong)
(Admin in U.S. & Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Lord of heaven and earth, You have called us to You that we might shout out Your name in wonder and praise for the great and precious promises we have been given in Christ. And we pray that You would help us to prepare to celebrate the sacrament by filling our hearts with gratefulness, through Jesus, our Lord, Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

PRAYER SONG

Seek Ye First

Lafferty, Karen

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto You
Allelu, alleluia.

Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by ev’ry word
That proceeds from the mouth of God,
Allelu, alleluia.

Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
Seek, and ye shall find.
Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.
Allelu, alleluia.

©1972 Maranatha! Music (admin. by The Copyright Company)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

The Topola Family

Our Heavenly Father,

We are grateful to be able to gather today, however way we can, to worship you. We are thankful for everything you have given to us through your righteousness.

Help us to seek you out first, to guide us in whatever ails us. For we know we cannot live life alone without you, but by hearing your every word. Remind us to knock so that our lives can be open unto you. Forgive us for not always listening and trusting in you.

Please bless and help all the teachers and school children to stay healthy and safe. We give you thanks that we can go back to school in person or online. We pray that you can help us find a cure for this sickness. We pray for all Your children in the world and their needs. Please bless us with your love.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

SCRIPTURE

I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me.
I saw only trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!”
How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and He saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!
I believed in you, so I said, “I am deeply troubled, Lord.”
In my anxiety I cried out to You, “These people are all liars!”
What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.
O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household;
you have freed me from my chains.
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people—
in the house of the Lord, in the heart of Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 116

Luke 22:7-20 [with my comments in brackets]

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins.”

[Why? Perhaps it had to do with the fact that it was going to be His last opportunity to teach them. For sure, the Upper Room discourse in John 13 through 17 contains His last words and very important teachings and many precious promises. Perhaps it had to do with the fact Jesus simply enjoyed the human privilege of sitting down with friends to share a meal; especially one with religious overtones, especially this last time. And it likely had to do with His anticipation of transforming that Passover Covenant into the New Covenant, which we know as the Lord’s Supper. After all, this is why He came: to offer His life the final, ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind. In this sense, these moments in the Upper Room were not the beginning of the end but the beginning of the beginning].

“For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

[One of the most brilliant Bible commentators, W. A. Criswell, comments, “the Passover is not only a memorial meal, but a prophetic one also. Passover points forward to the final deliverance of God’s people at the return of Christ, symbolized in a great messianic feast at the end of time”].

Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

After supper, He took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

Luke 22:7-20

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Eucharist

‘Eucharist.’ How many have heard the word before? And, no, a eucharist is not a devotee of the card game euchre.

Folks who have experience in the Catholic tradition are one up on Protestants when it comes to being familiar with the word ‘Eucharist.’ For in the Catholic tradition, communion is referred to as ‘The Eucharist.’

‘Eucharistia’ is a compound Greek noun that combines the little word ‘eú’ defined as ‘good’ or ‘well’ with ‘cháris’ which means ‘gift’ or more often ‘grace.’ So ‘eucharist’ can be rendered literally ‘good grace.’

Some of us may be thinking, oh I get it now, communion is referred to as eucharist because when we receive communion we are remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which is good grace. Right? Close, but no cigar.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul took the noun ‘Eucahrist’ and made a verb out of it. We all know a verb is an action word, so when a noun was changed to a verb the action taken most often became a response to the noun.

How does one respond to good grace? With thanksgiving.

Thus, Luke tells us, “He (Jesus) took some bread and ‘eucharisteo’ gave thanks to God for it.” And, “He took a cup of wine and ‘eucharisteo’ gave thanks to God for it.”

In other words, we respond to God’s ‘good grace’ with ‘thanksgiving.’

MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND PAUL WISH US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE SHOULD NOT THINK ABOUT GOD’S GOOD GRACE IN JESUS WITHOUT GIVING THANKS.

Communion then is not only a remembrance of what Jesus did for us, it should be, at the same time, ‘a thanksgiving.’

In fact, thanksgiving was the context for the observance of that very first ‘eucharist’ in the Upper Room as Jesus and His disciples remembered and celebrated Passover.

“Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived when the Passover lamb is sacrificed” (Luke 22:7).

The Festival of Unleavened Bread was a weeklong celebration that recounted the events associated with the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It began with Passover: a remembrance of the night when the Israelites sacrificed a lamb and placed some of its blood over the doors of their homes so that the angel of death would pass over them. Passover was not only a remembrance; it too was a thanksgiving, thanksgiving for the deliverance provided by God.

One of the most important ways they expressed thanksgiving at Passover was to sing the so-called Hallel; a grouping of six Psalms 113 through 118. As you can guess, the word ‘Hallel’ is taken from the repeated use of the word Hallelujah’ through those Psalms, and which is most often translated ‘praise.’

Thus, the Hallel provides the basis for a glorious outburst of thanksgiving!

It is humbling to think that the Lord Jesus shared in these hallelujahs as He and His disciples observed the Passover Feast and as He instituted the Last Supper. Can you imagine what He was feeling that night as He sang from Psalm 116?

Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and He saved me.

What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me. I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all His people.

That’s exactly what He did. In thanksgiving, He lifted up the cup of salvation and praised God’s name.

Ironic isn’t it? Jesus is about to go from eating the sacrificial Passover lamb to becoming the same for us.

So as we prepare to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, let us express our thanksgiving to God for His manifold blessings to us in the spirit of Psalm 116:17, “I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving in the presence of all His people.”

We can begin where Jesus began; giving thanks for the common blessings of life.

For example, we take approximately 23,000 breaths every day, but when was the last time you thanked God for one of them? The process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide is a complicated respiratory task that requires physiological precision. We tend to thank God for the things that take our breath away. But maybe we should thank him for every other breath too! 1

We are blessed when we stop to thank God for the privilege of living in this free society, for families, jobs, our homes, food on the table. All those things that we sometimes take for granted just because they do seem mundane.

But you and I know they are blessings.

And then to be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives; the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections; that requires hard spiritual work.

Florence Condren once taught me something about thankfulness that I tend to forget. She was about 80 years old when she had parked her car in a Medina parking lot. While she was in the store, a stranger entered her car and waited for her return. When she did, this guy forced her to drive around Medina for two hours until he finally had her pull up to the drive-through window at her bank and withdraw money from her account. After she handed the money to him, he exited her car.

I went to her home the next day and after telling me what had transpired she mentioned how thankful she was.

I said, “Excuse me Florence . . . I don’t think I heard you right.”

She said, “Yes, I am thankful that he didn’t verbally abuse me,” in fact, she said, “he was very polite. And I am thankful that he didn’t harm me worse than squeezing my arm.”

The famous Catholic Priest Henri Nouwen writes, “We are only truly grateful people when we can say ‘thank you’ to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God. 2

Paul instructs us to “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). This requires us to give thanks to God in the midst of the pandemic. Not that we are grateful for the pandemic itself, but that we are grateful for what God is doing in the midst of this pandemic.

What are some of the things, good as well as bad, that you are grateful for?

And then, beyond the general blessings of life, there are the spiritual blessings for which we are much more grateful.

As Psalm 113-118 served as hallelujah scriptures for Jesus and His contemporaries, I think Paul’s letter to the Romans serves the same function for us.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 5:1-11

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Romans 8:1-2

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39

And as we close this communion meditation, let us note that it is good to express our eucharist to God with our lips. But let’s also be reminded that we can and should back it up with the way we live.

Romans 12:1 says it all:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.

Which raises the question: What is it that we might be holding back,
or even tenaciously clinging to, rather than offering it to God as a way of expressing our thankfulness for all He has done for us?

How about we pray about that before we lift up the cup of salvation?

PRAYER

(I encourage all of you to pray as you feel led).

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Communion Song

Give Thanks

Smith, Henry

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

Give thanks.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.

©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

Communion Prayer including the Receiving of the Sacrament

God of grace, give us repentant hearts, forgiving hearts, clean hearts.
With thanksgiving, we come to your table.

We take up the body of Christ with thankful hearts because on that Passover night Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

[Please receive the body of Christ]

We take up the cup with thankful hearts, because at that Last Supper Jesus also took a cup, and after giving thanks, passed it to His friends saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”

[Please receive the cup of Christ]

Thanks be to you Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for inviting us to this banquet!
All praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
In return for You offering Yourself for us,
Help us, we pray, to offer all that we are and all that we have to You.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the power, the kingdom, and the glory forever, amen.

CLOSING SONG

I Give You Me

Mula, Candace

I stand amazed at Your awesomeness
That You would love and guide me
That You have taken all my sorrows
And promised me a beautiful tomorrow.
What can I say to tell You ‘Thank You’?
What can I do to show my heart?
For what You’ve done and who You are,
Oh, Lord, I give You me.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

Take me all the way…until the day
We embrace…for eternity.
Take me all the way…until the day
We embrace…for eternity.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

I give You me…all that I have
Not holding back…but every part.
All that I am…and hope to be,
Lord I am blessed when I give You me.

Lord I am blessed
When I give You me.

©2002 Candace Mula/Healing Place Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5b-6

1 Mark Batterson, All In, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, © 2013), page 119

2 Henri J. M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey [San Francisco: HarperOne,
© 1996]. Page 12.

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text