Why are we on the field for a Community Communion today?
First, today is World Communion Sunday.
Second, we are in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles. This Jewish feast commemorates the provision of God in the days of the wilderness wanderings. But also, the feast anticipates the coming of the Messiah with the messianic age when all the nations will flow to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
Third, eight years ago, Tony Evans challenged us, as we met in the Florence Center, with the message of Oneness Embraced.
Then three reasons from time:
In the Old Testament, in Exodus, after the Passover that led to the release and departure from Egypt, the people of Israel wandered through the wilderness. And as they wandered, God instructed them to construct a Tabernacle/Tent that would be set in the middle of the camp, to symbolize the centrality of the Lord to His people. The tribes encamped around the Tabernacle (like we are today) where The Presence of the Lord remained. And where they could make sacrifices to seek forgiveness for their sin, as well as His blessing. Each tribe had a designated position where they were to set up their tents around the Tabernacle each time they settled into a new location (like your tribe/congregation). This presence of the Lord (shekinah glory) was THE cherished possession of Moses. Moses told the Lord that he would not lead the people of Israel further on their journey unless the Lord’s presence went before them. Today we are “encamped” around the presence of the Lord!
In the Gospels, Jesus gave us a means to remember Him and celebrate His Presence with us today. That is why, at his ascension (departure from this world), He said, “Lo I will be with you always.” Communion is how we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. The King of creation gave his own body to be pierced for our sins so that we may be restored into relationship with Him. When humans rebelled at the dawn of time, we lost the privilege of living in God’s presence. We chose to live outside of His presence, which ironically is the only place where we would flourish. Living outside of Him, outside of His presence, only leads to chaos, decay, and death. Thankfully today, if you claim Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are brought back into His presence. You are in Him and He is in you. When you come forward for Communion you will step under the tent, which will indicate you being IN Christ. And then we will together take the elements (bread and juice/wine) into our bodies which will point to the reality of Jesus being in us. His presence is with us in a special way as we eat this meal!
At the end of time, at the return of THE GROOM/Jesus, there will be a feast! The wedding feast of the Lamb will be a great celebration of the marriage of the Lord Jesus to His Bride, the Church. In Revelation 19 it says, “then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters…crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and pure” for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me (John), “write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” As we come to the tent today, we will look forward to our future with great joy as we anticipate being a guest of honor at the wedding feast of the Lamb!