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good morning friends how you doing today great to see you all it’s been a few weeks uh laura and I and the kids got to to go back to england see some family and one I’m just really appreciative of just the amazing team that just held stuff together some great preaching some great sermons some great services and all those different things so very thankful for that and and so many of you have been so welcoming in saying uh you know welcome back and and one of the questions that you’ve asked repeatedly is this do you feel rested well we flew about 12 000 miles and we traveled for about 50 hours altogether and we did it with three kids in the middle of covid and we had to get four coved tests and they cost eight hundred dollars so do I feel rested no but at the same time it was this wonderful experience we got to reunite with

some family my parents hadn’t seen my kids for a couple of years and so the joy of spending that time together was the better question might be this uh was it worth it was it worth all that effort yes it definitely was it was a joy to be with people that you love and and I grabbed a couple of photos just to share with you just see if you can feel like you participated a little bit you know not everyone’s traveling internationally right now so I just thought I’d show you a couple here we go so this is this beautiful picture of the cornish coast sat there in 65 degrees I got to do this hike that I’d wanted to do for maybe six years I just never quite got to do it and so just sat there on the end and I actually sent this picture to dan elliot and I said you know it’s going to be hard to leave this and he sent me a message back saying wait what there was a

slight panic if you can put tone into a text a little bit of a panic I was like just you know I’m just saying it’s hard to move not well I’m not coming back um but thank you to the person who did ask had I left apparently someone thought I’d gone um and then I took this photo of my mom and my dad and gigi who manages to get into almost every photo somehow just on one of the wilder cornish days and then of course because we stayed a little bit longer than we’d planned we ended up being there for the 4th of july now as you can imagine fourth of july is a little bit different in england than it is in america for multiple reasons right okay first reason it’s different it was not 90 degrees there on that day so this was us grilling 4th of july umbrella over the grill just making it happen we came up with a nice creative name for the day because you can’t call it independence day when you’re in in england obviously it has to have some other name so we

called it a national minor conflict on an obscure border that changed nothing day but we did I think we actually did a pretty good job getting into the spirit of things we even found a flag for laura and we even put some bunty up now it was a little bit easier because the american flag’s the same color as the british flag and so the bunting was easier to get hold of but the flag was an achievement and this was the final day that we were there and we gathered around a table and we talked and we laughed and we had those wonderful uh conversations that you get to have alongside a turn of emotion anytime you live away from family and many of you are in this boat you you have these questions when will I see these people again will I see these people again there’s a distance that is it’s it’s painful it’s both a joy and a pain and I always notice with my kids there’s always this tension my daughter gigi probably said about 60 or 70 times on the

last day why do we have to go home and then I realized this well when we’re here she sees her cousins every single day so she assumes if we lived here that would be the case then and I’m like well they get very annoyed with each other if that was the case uh they um you know have all of these different experiences I don’t work when I’m there we’re usually by the coast and so what they’re saying is we would long for this life where you don’t work and we get to be on the beach every day with our family I’m like well that’s not reality anywhere but there is this joy this joy of gathering together with those people especially around a table we’ve talked over this the life of this series about this commonality of food there is something that happens when we gather around food that is special and distinct it’s maybe the one thing in the gospels in these narratives of Jesus life and if you’re unfamiliar with church that’s fine but there’s these four

narratives of Jesus life and they all seem to focus on Jesus at the table especially this book luke that we’ve landed in in luke Jesus is always going to a meal at a meal or leaving a meal this food thing seems to to just fit in with his life and again it’s this one thing that maybe you and I would say I can resonate with that I I actually have that experience that is common to me as well so much of the rest of the bible is a mystery to us it’s a different context a different culture and this is this one thing that we’re like I I can understand that Jesus takes these table moments and he uses them in this distinctly practical way to bring in people that would not otherwise be included in this great story this great narrative we’ve used this as kind of like an anchor verse for our time luke chapter 4 verse 18 and 19 the spirit of the lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the

prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the lord’s favor there is this idea that Jesus takes his time around tables and says I’m going to pull in people for whom there has not been much good news I have good news for people who are not used to or familiar with good news but as a way I was just contemplating this little passage a bit thinking about it and and it made me wonder a question we haven’t really addressed that may have occurred to some of you it’s this what does that mean for us it would be hard to categorize most of us as being poor if you have any money in the bank whatsoever you’re in the top 25 richest people on the planet there is something about the life we get to live that is unusual to most of the world we we were just uh driving through a neighborhood in my by my parents house which was somewhat impoverished and we looked at this apartment and

thought for a second how hard it would be to live in this high-rise building uh in a low-income area through covid and we started to say like how would we feel about living there and then we had this moment of reflection where I’ve got to travel to so many different developing nations and every single one of those people would love to have lived in a place like that we live lives that are beyond the imagination of most of the world how do we categorize ourselves as as poor and and if we’re not poor does that mean Jesus has nothing to say to us and as I reflected a little bit I started to think about this isn’t there all sorts of poverty yes there’s financial poverty some of us may have experienced that but it’s not most of us but there’s also physical poverty there’s also relational poverty there’s also spiritual poverty I was always amazed every time I would go to haiti as a nation I would spend time with people in church and watch as they

gathered afterwards no one was rushing off to go see a football game no one had dinner reservations there was this joy of being together and I watched people who were relationally rich I remember leaving one time and and calling laura and the kids and saying I can’t wait to see you but I wish you were coming here because I’m experiencing a quality of relationship that I’m not experiencing in america right now there’s different types of poverty maybe one of the things one of the challenges for you and I is to say where am I poor where is the lack in me I think what this passage what it gets to at the heart is this that that Jesus came for those that were willing to acknowledge that they needed him this group of people that were financially poor well they knew it they were very aware of their need for some new story something to happen and my question for you and I is this is the ways that we need a new story what if you

aren’t poor maybe it’s just simply a matter of recognizing that for every single one of us there’s areas that we experience poverty in our lives so we’ve got a couple of weeks left in this series we’re going to jump into this text in luke chapter 22. now embarrassing confession for a pastor I left my bible at home so I had to grab one from dan elliott’s office and it has the smallest text I have ever seen it’s borderline unreadable so we’ll just see what we can do now the feast of unleavened bread called the passover was approaching and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus for they were afraid of the people when satan entered judas scored a scary at one of the twelve and judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discuss with them how they might betray Jesus they were delighted and agreed to give him money he consented and watched for an

opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present this tension has been building between Jesus and the religious leaders for weeks and for months and now there’s this moment where this writer luke sets up the expectation that this tale is going to turn a little bit dark we know that there’s now judas this insider who is really an outsider and and he’s about to turn Jesus over to these priests that’s the context for everything we’re about to read verse seven then came the day of unleavened bread on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed Jesus sent peter and john saying go and make preparations for us to eat the passover where do you want us to prepare prepare for it they asked he replied as you enter the city a man carrying a jar of water will meet you follow him to the house that he enters and say to the owner of the house the teacher asks where is the guest room where I may eat the passover with my disciples

he will show you a large upper room all furnished make preparations there they left and found things just as Jesus had told them so they prepared the passover when the hour came Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table and he said to them I have eagerly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer for I tell you I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God after taking the cup he gave thanks and said take this and divide it among you for I tell you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes and he took bread and gave thanks and broke it and gave it to them saying this is my body given for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way after the supper he took the cup saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you but the hand of him who’s going to betray me is with mine on the table the son of man will go as it has been decreed but woe to

the man who betrays him they began to question among themselves which of them it might be that would do this thing so a lot in there let’s pray before we get into it Jesus as we look at your word that you’ve given us we believe that this book came on was breathed on by you we believe that is distinct and special we ask that you would speak to us perhaps you would reveal to us some ways that we are poor when we think we’re rich perhaps you would reveal to us some new ways in which we need you that we hadn’t realized would you comfort those that are afflicted today would you afflict those of us that are comfortable would you take this book that you breathed on and it came alive and would you breathe on us and make us alive in new ways amen okay so today as we look at this passage this is the passage of the last supper we’ll be taking communion again to together I know that it’s not our regular rhythm we usually take

communion the lord’s supper the eucharist on the first of the month but how can you teach on the lord’s supper without taking the lord’s supper together so if you’re at home watching online you can go and grab some elements to get ready and we’ll come to this table at the end if you’re unfamiliar with it I will explain it let’s go back to the start of the passage then came the day of unleavened bread on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed Jesus sent peter and john saying go and make preparations for us to eat the passover and Jesus is about to enter into this meal that is very common very familiar to everybody of his time and yet he’s about to do it knowing it will be his last meal knowing that he’ll be eating with his followers for the last time so my question for you to sort of warm us up a little bit is what would your last meal be if you were planning your own last me if you knew this was the last meal you would get to enjoy what

what would you eat some of you are like it’s definitely steak it’s definitely bacon there’s definitely some of you that will have an idea some of you might say I have no clue whatsoever maybe it’s a sentimental meal something you’ve enjoyed over the years something you remember for your childhood but the truth is that most of us never know when our last meal is coming there are some exceptions there’s a wonderful story that eric peterson the writer tells about his father the the writer of the message the bible translation eugene peterson uh he talks about eugene peterson walking towards death and he he talks about this moment where he they sat down with him and and said dad your your the rest of your life it will no longer be measured in months and years it will be measured in hours and days and they watched as he ate some peach cobbler which he loved and he looked at them and said this I’m okay with that

I’m okay with that there was this joy of a life well lived of a man who was eating his last meal and was very aware of this fact but was okay was was at peace that’s a rarity I think most of us we don’t know when that moment will come except societally societally there is this one exception to that right we know that historically it’s been tradition for prisoners on death row to get to choose their last meal the last thing they will eat before execution and there’s all these different stories about how people have chosen to use that privilege there was a story that I read about one man who ordered a 12-ounce steak three burritos two triple burgers a pint of ice cream and the list just went on and on and on and there’s some odd choices that I found here someone chose cheez-its and coca-cola as the last thing that they would choose to participate in as a meal someone else regularly options were burgers and fries and one person

said I just want a single olive single olive with no particular explanation and all kinds of psychological processes proceeds have been put on on this whole thing why do people choose what they choose and and is there any significance to it should it even happen some states have started to say no this isn’t a privilege that you should deserve if you’re receiving the death penalty but but there’s one thing that all of these things have in common what would you guess it was the meal doesn’t get eaten the one common theme is this people that know they’re eating their last meal they don’t eat it they may order it but they don’t eat it one death row lawyer ian sheldon said I do not recall a single instance in all my career of one of my clients eating their meal there is something about the finality of what they’re walking into that says this isn’t a time for eating and just think about how that works psychologically we know that

makes sense on a psychological level there is this idea that you have a sympathetic and a parasympathetic nervous system one controls your fight and flight one controls your rest and digest and so when you’re in that moment of tension in that moment of stress something about you says I don’t want to eat right now there is no desire to eat maybe you’ve experienced it sat on a plane in high turbulence or something like that and they they have these unappetizing meals they park in front of you as the plane shakes all over the place and and something about you says I don’t feel like eating right now for some reason I’m a little bit tense I’m a little bit uncertain we have that phrase the food turned to ashes in my mouth does something about moments of grief of stress that we say we don’t want to eat and then that’s then that’s the reason I find what Jesus is about to say just fascinating when the hour came Jesus and his

apostles reclined at the table and he said to them I have eagerly desired to eat this passover the thing that we’re about to do I have eagerly desired this moment there is something about it that is distinct and special and yet we know that Jesus is under incredible stress now as followers of Jesus and and again if you’re new to this let me help you walk through this a little bit we talk about Jesus as has been fully God and fully man what I’ve found historically is this most churches most denominations tend to focus on one side versus the other side some of us trend or tend towards thinking about the divinity of Jesus some of us tend or trend towards the humanity of Jesus and yet both are true and what we see in this moment is we see a deep revelation of Jesus humanity in a few verses he will pray this father if you are willing take this cup from me yet not my will but yours be done we see Jesus as his human self under this

incredible stress this incredible tension and surely having no desire to eat and yet he says I have longed longed to eat this meal with you he’s about to partake in something that he sees as special as important he’s about to enter his teaching mode he’s about to show us something so what meal is he eating he’s eating this passover let’s learn a little bit about that what is this old meal about Jesus is doing sorry Jesus is doing something very common every jewish person in jerusalem will be doing this same thing on this day they’re about to take a meal called passover which was the central moment of the jewish calendar and so we can go back to this book exodus chapter 12 and learn a little bit the lord said to moses and aaron in egypt this month is to be for you the first month the first month of your year tell the whole community of israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family one for each

household if any household is too small for a whole lamb they must share one with their nearest neighbor having taken into account the number of people there are you are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat then they had to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs that same night they had to eat the meat roasted over the fire along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast this is how you do I eat it how you are to eat it with your cloak tucked into your belt your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand eat it in haste it is the lord’s passover so some context to this this group of people sometimes known as the jewish nation as the children of israel this group of people have moved to egypt some 300 years before this passage that we’re reading it’s looked like a great relationship it’s

looked like something that will benefit both sides and it has turned from relationship to slavery they are now stuck there they have nowhere to go and this this right here is their moment of rescue this is a story that they will tell themselves for thousands of years this is the moment that in their lowest in their darkest point God the God of the universe stepped in and provided a way for them to escape this is this moment of celebration it will become deeply important to every jewish person and still is today on that same night I will pass through egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals man there’s a ton of tension in that passage that’s like a whole other sermon to get into how we feel about that and I will bring judgment on all the gods of egypt I am the lord the blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are and when I see the blood I will pass over you no destructive plague will touch you when I strike

egypt in this moment this group of people are told when you put the blood on the door frame this will be how death is delayed death will come for all of these people and it will not hit you if you do what you’re told and this group of people will leave egypt they will go out into the wilderness they’ll arrive at a mountain called sinai sinai is special it is this mountain that is special because nobody owns it because nobody owns this God who will come to them and say I’m going to make you my people I’m going to give you a way to live out my life in the world around you but it begins in this moment where the people are waiting to leave and destruction and death come and if they do what they’re told it will pass over and as they are obedient the people are set free and they go out into the wilderness and the story continues this old meal was a celebration of death delayed it was a celebration of the idea that death was coming and

for them when they were obedient it was delayed now here’s a question do any of these people believe that now they will never die no they don’t at some point the same story that is true of every single one of us the the same story that we will our lives will end in death is still true of them they they don’t believe that this is a permanent state but in this moment in this moment of risk of tension the angel passes over when he sees the blood and this is a celebration of death delayed it’s a good story it’s an important story and again it will be grounding for these jewish people for thousands of years and the festival changes a little bit some other things are added as other writers give their thoughts eventually it becomes this seven part meal with bitter herbs with sausage with roasted egg with roasted lamb with a kind of stew of potatoes and different things and a a spring onion and it’s this celebration moment

where they remember and tell themselves the story over and over again and then Jesus is about to enter into this moment does he believe in this moment that death will be delayed for him he doesn’t he doesn’t that is not the reason he is partaking in this that is not what he’s trying to teach us in this moment when the hour came Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table and he said to them I have eagerly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer I tell you I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of heaven Jesus is entering into this meal knowing that death will not be delayed for him knowing that he has to walk into and through death and that is part of his story so he then takes everything about this meal and he’s about to do what only Jesus has the privilege of doing he’s about to take this story and recast it around him he’s about to take a good story and he’s about to make it even better

when it’s about him and he took bread and gave thanks and broke it and gave it to them saying this is my body given for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way after the supper he took the cup saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you in this moment of celebration in this highest point of the jewish calendar Jesus takes a couple of the elements and says let me tell you how these are centered around me let me tell you how this whole good story is now recast around me and we have some history of seeing festivals or special days or holidays start to be recast this is an example that may help you grasp what’s happening a little bit think about columbus day this day that was celebrated for I don’t know how long in october it’s this remembrance of columbus coming uh to america discovering the continent now in lots of places it has been recast as in indigenous people’s day now you may

love that change or you may hate that change it’s actually helpful for the illustration if you hate the change because think how the disciples might react to what Jesus is saying these are good jewish people who have celebrated this passover day for years it is central to everything that they know and they’ve come to know that Jesus is distinct Jesus is special but there’s got to be some sense of wait aren’t you going a little bit far aren’t you pushing this just a little bit you’re taking this thing that we have orientated around for the whole of our lives and you’re now saying that it’s primarily centered around you this isn’t the first time actually that Jesus has done this he’s done this with other religious festivals in john chapter 7 at the festival of sukkot it says on the last and greatest day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink in the middle of a festival that was celebrated by

pouring out water a water festival Jesus says I am the only thing that can quench your thirst Jesus has a history of saying all of this centers around me whether you realized it or not some of you may have heard cs lewis idea that that really Jesus claims are so ostentatious they’re so over the top that either he is mad he is bad or he is he is who he said he is the claims are so incredible that only a madman or an evil person trying to mislead people could say them unless they happen to be true in which case he really is who he said he is the thing around which everything in life circles around Jesus takes this festival that has historically been about death delayed and he says I am now recasting it through this bread and this wine around me this is now a celebration of death defeated this is now a celebration of death defeated now it’s also about other things it’s also about forgiveness of sin it’s also about the hope of healing it’s also

about multiple wonderful stories but centrally today I would say this is the central point that this meal is a celebration of what Jesus will do that when he dies and raises again death is defeated it’s not the old story it’s a better story when the hour came Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table and he said to them I have eagerly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer I would suggest that as important as what he’s doing to Jesus is who he’s doing it with he has these 12 followers that he has lived life with and he knows that this story that their story is going to get very difficult he knows that their story will include brokenness failures many of them will deny him many of them will desert him and yet he knows that they’ll need this story he’ll need this they’ll need this story of hope of possibility but not just them us as well this is john chapter 17. now again for those of you unfamiliar with the text there’s matthew

mark and luke and they’re all pretty similar john is a different writer he gives us some different perspectives john gives us more details about what Jesus says and and we’re told in in john’s writing that Jesus goes into a deep prayer for all of the people that will follow him my prayer is not for them alone alone I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them may be one father just as you are in me and I am in you may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one I in them and you in me so that they may be brought to complete unity then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me Jesus in this moment is doing something significant for every single one of us at a time in his life where he doesn’t feel like eating where everything about how his body works

will say I don’t desire this food yet he eats it because he knows that it teaches us something about the way the world works he knows it will be this meal that we can come back to time and time again in our worst moments he sits in his worst moment in his lowest point and says I’m gonna participate in this thing because it’s going to bring life to each and every one of you and we at our lowest moments we get to tap back into this thing that he did we get to come and bring all of our brokenness this is the writer jurgen moltmann hope is more than feeling hope is more than experience hope is more than foresight hope is a command obeying it means life survival endurance standing up to life until death is swallowed up in victory this central free theme for christians for thousands of years has been the idea that Jesus death and resurrection is the defeat of death that is the audacious claim of christianity it is not there is some life

somewhere in some distant celestial heaven one day it is real practical resurrection in a world somewhat like this in terms of its physicality that is the hope that we are called to it is extravagant it is extraordinary and the christian faith has never been shy of proclaiming this is what we hope for and yet each of us in our different struggles and our different moments have moments where that story can be so hard to believe we have moments where we fail where we we are broken moments of sin moments where relationships fall apart all sorts of different things and we come and we’re asked to come to this table even when we don’t want to be here we’re asked to come to this table and bring those things even when we’re not sure this story works Jesus in his worst moment sits at this table because he knows that we need him he knows that this new meal is a better story than the old story death delayed is a wonderful story

but death defeated is a different kind of story it is a story that each of us need and and so my question as we come to this table as a community is what do you need from this story today what do you need from it what is it that in your life at the moment is that point that you’re like I need to believe this story and yet maybe it’s difficult what burden is it that you are carrying what dark night of the soul what struggle is it that you need to bring to this table and trust that this story is big enough we are invited to bring our stories stories of brokenness pain fear and belief uncertainty lost hope death sickness poverty rejection failure injustice and sin and in that moment as Jesus I’m sure felt with no desire to eat we are invited to come to this table even when we don’t feel like eating even when we don’t feel like the story’s working and we get to trust that this story is big enough we are invited to bring them and participate in a meal we may

not feel like participating in I’m going to invite adam and the team to come back on stage and we’re going to take a slower approach to communion we’re going to create some space for contemplation I’m going to ask you that question again what do you need from this story today what is it that you’re carrying Jesus at the lowest point in his life walks in to this table because he knows that the end of the story is better than this moment what new hope do you need so I’m going to ask us to pray a prayer together now you’re free to do your own moment of contemplation you’re free to spend some time in this short space of just having a conversation with God but this is something that I put together for us to pray together if praying is something that you’re not used to so we’re going to say this is a community God we do not presume to come to this table trusting in our own goodness but in your great mercies we are not worthy to

gather the crumbs under your table but you are the guard of mercy we ask to come to your table bringing our stories knowing you have provided a better story through your death and resurrection this is a passage from 1 corinthians chapter 11. Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said this is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way after supper he took the cup saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the lord’s death until he comes as we come to this table bringing our different stories our different struggles we come and we say that Jesus story is more significant than what we are going through right now we come believing that his death and resurrection mean something they mean the forgiveness of sin you

in the ways that you are broken have the possibility of forgiveness it means the possibility of healing you and your sickness and your weakness may experience the healing hand of God they mean the defeat means the defeat of death that that moment that last moment that last breath is not the end it means that death is not the worst thing it’s just the thing before I’m going to invite your friends to stand with me for those of you that find yourself this morning feeling lost and certain of the pathway ahead this table is a place of orientation it is a fixed point of certainty however your emotions are today walking to this table is a proclamation of your belief in this better story you are deeply loved deeply and wonderfully loved