Breaking Bread

The sacrament of breaking bread is one that I feel all to often is practiced much less in Baptist circles. Perhaps it is because we view the actions of our Catholic and Methodist brothers as mere religiosity. The sacrament is a time for renewal and confession. A time for removing any wedges that may exist between us and any of our brothers. It can also increase or renew ones faith as the physical sensations we associate with it combined with the presence of the Holy Spirit often leads to a replenishing of the soul.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said she could not have survived all those years surrounded by death and poverty had it not been for the weekly mass and sacraments that helped her carry on in her ministry and the Lords work.

I have in my house a large dough machine and plan on using it in my ministry when we perform the sacraments in order to truly “break” bread as Christ did at the last supper.

One has to also note that it is so very interesting that God chose bread as this symbolic and meaningful food. What if it had been a small subcultural food item that many did not know of? But we all know that God knew some 2,000 years later bread would still be a staple of life at all dinner tables and not pickled turnips or the like.

So the next time you are with brothers or sisters and are being offered the sacrament, tear, confess and remember our Savior Jesus Christ and exactly what the sacrament means. Until next time, God Bless.

Middle Ground

Reaching out to a younger socially online generation is the greatest challenge facing not only large churches in the cities but rural churches across not only the lone star state but the nation as a whole.I have personally heard of countless congregations going into financial and physical dire straits as a pastors inability to draw a this generation coupled with a congregational stance of “we will not change” leading to a disastrous combination that results in many churches going into a death spin without even knowing it.

This dilemma is nothing new for the church. It has happened since the birth of the church. Routine and religiosity take a front seat while the Holy Spirit and Gospel fall short. Fear of changing the gospel or doctrine is well rooted as many times in the past the church has slipped and beliefs or mis-interpretation come across as not only wrong, but down right unscriptural (crusades).

What is a congregation to do? Elders and older members are comfortable with current services, however the life blood of the church is running low. Without the next generation the church will fall short and be forced to close.

The answer can and should be found in the bible itself. If we study the way the Apostle Paul handled his sermons we can learn a lot about how to remove ourselves and our pride and let the Holy Spirit do what he does best.

Paul did not use the same approach for every congregational body he preached to. His message varied from place to place and persons to persons.
This is where we have to ask ourselves what are we to do. Go to town and try to find every person exactly like us and bring them in on Sundays? Or, trust in a faithful and competent shepherd to prepare a sermon that remains faithfully true while changing the presentation slightly to meet the current standards. This is the equivelent of arguing that if we don’t change we are no different than a church leadership that wanted to keep the bible in latin only, or worse are we comparable to a group of Pharisees that viewed their religiosity as the key to salvation rather than Christ’s saving grace.

I pray that if you are reading this in search of an answer you are able to reflect on these thoughts and pursue action with a renewed trust in the Holy Spirit and his ability to save those who are in need of salvation. God bless.