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Friday, December 29, 2017

What is this bread? What is this wine?

LSB hymn 629
(stanza 1)
What is this bread?
Christ's body risen from the dead:
This bread we break, This life we take,
Was crushed to pay for our release.
O taste and see, the Lord is peace.
After celebrating the joy of Christmas, we soon embark on the season of epiphany (Jan-Feb). Defined (by Webster's dictionary) as "sudden insight," or "intuitive understanding", the season of epiphany gives insight and understanding to the true identity of Christ. Thus, ultimately answering the question, "Who is Jesus?". From the visit to the Magi (Mt 2:1- 12), the baptism of our Lord (Mk 1:4-11), Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael (Jn 1:43-51), Jesus healing many (Mk 1:21- 28;29-39), and to the transfiguration (Mk 9:2-9), the Lord reveals that He is the Savior of the nations. In the epiphany account of the transfiguration, Jesus took with Him, Peter and James and John and on the mountain, and he transfigures before them. "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light" (Mt 17:2), Moses and Elijah were conversing with the Lord. What a sight! As Jesus reveals Himself by the very words of the Lord, "This is my beloved Son; listen to Him" (Mk 9:7). Through His ministry, the Lord reveals who He is and what He has come to do, ultimately leading to His own death and resurrection. Yes, the Lord manifested himself in many ways and continues even to this day by His Word and Sacraments. On the night when he was to be betrayed, "Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took a cup and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:26-28). Jesus institutes the Supper and commands them to "Take, eat", "Drink of it, all of you". For in the Supper of our Lord, we partake in His very own body and blood, served in with and under the consecrated bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins. What a blessed gift to receive as we live under the cross of Christ!

Throughout the season of epiphany, we well have a special sermon series on the Sacrament of the Altar to renew and rejoice on the gifts given by our gracious Lord. (share the event on Facebook)

    1/7 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Nature
    1/14 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Benefits
    1/21 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Power
    1/28 -- Sacrament of the Altar: Preparation

I encourage all of you to attend as we dwell upon the word of God and the comfort that He gives through His gracious and glorious means. May this be an opportunity for you to enrich and strengthen your faith in the lavish riches of God's word that delivers you, in His body and the blood, your ultimate peace - the forgiveness of sins.
Hymn 629 (stanza 2)
What is this wine?
The blood of Jesus shed for mine;
The cup of grace, brings His embrace
Of Life and love until I sing!
O taste and see, the Lord is King
And indeed He is!

Happy New Year! And may God bless and lead you through another year in Christ Jesus!

+Pastor Jeong

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email