Table: The Call to Community
Our sanctification—the process of becoming holy and Christlike—is more like a Weight Watchers program than listening to a book on tape. If sanctification is tantamount to closing the gap between what I know and what I do (no longer reading Wendell Berry in Costco, essentially), it means changing what I want. And that requires submitting ourselves to disciplines and regimens that reach down into our deepest habits. The Spirit of God meets us in that space—in that gap—not with lightning bolts of magic but with the concrete practices of the body of Christ that conscript our bodily habits.
– James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love
Today’s Text: Romans 12:9-16
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. 11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (CSB)
The TABLE that is Reserved
Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying,
Hallelujah, because our Lord God,
the Almighty, reigns!
Let us be glad, rejoice,
and give him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has prepared herself.
She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.
For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb! ” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.”
The TABLE that is Ready
The Assumption is Community…
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
…and the Call is Love
Let love be without hypocrisy.
COMMITTED TO HOLINESS
Detest evil; cling to what is good.
Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters.
Take the lead in honoring one another.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption…Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.
– C.S. Lewis
FULL OF SACRIFICIAL ZEAL
Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
GENEROUS & HOSPITABLE
Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
- An alone person is an emergency
- Friends can wait
- Make introductions
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Our various family backgrounds left every one of us at least a little weird. So we need an honest friend from outside the tightly knit family to round us out. Every one of us needs to go to another person and say, “Help me see myself. Help me get sharper for Christ.” And if no other person in your church is good enough to play that role for you, the problem is you. If you do not know anyone well enough yet to trust them at that level, are you seeking that person out?
– Ray Ortlund
The TABLE that Redeems
1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said,“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?
A Prayer for Salvation
“Heavenly Father, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through your Son Jesus I can be more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you that he lived the life I should have lived and paid the debt and punishment I owed. Receive me now for his sake. I turn from my sins and receive him as Savior. Amen.”