Lost and Found
Praise To The Lord [Song]
Prayer of Confession
My One Comfort [Song]
Glorious Christ [Song]
Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me [Song]
New City Catechism Q. 36
Be Still My Soul [Song]
Doxology (Page CXVI) [Song]
 Oh sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
 The LORD has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
 before the LORD, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity. (ESV)
New City Catechism Q. 36. http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#36
1 Samuel 9:1-10:16
 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth.  And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.”  And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.”  But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.”  Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”  The servant answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.”  (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today's “prophet” was formerly called a seer.)  And Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
 As they went up the hill to the city, they met young women coming out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?”  They answered, “He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place.  As soon as you enter the city you will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.”  So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.
 Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel:  “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”  When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.”  Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?”  Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind.  As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father's house?”  Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
 Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons.  And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’”  So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.”
So Saul ate with Samuel that day.  And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep.  Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.
 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.  When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’  Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine.  And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand.  After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying.  Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.  Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.  Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
 When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.  When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.  And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”  And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”  When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
 Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”  And Saul's uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.”  And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything. (ESV)
There are many aspects to the Lord’s Supper. Chief among them is the Supper being a sign of the church, corporately and individually, belonging to Christ and each other. Consider what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17:
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? bThe bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are cone body, for we all partake of the one bread.
This sign, of many being one body under Christ, takes place as we remember and proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes; doing this by taking the bread and juice as symbols of Christ’s sacrifice for his people. It is truly the Lord’s great wisdom that he would graciously institute the Supper (along with baptism) as a physical sign of a spiritual reality, and as a means of his grace to his people.
Every other week as we take the supper together, an elder spends a few minutes to aid in preparing us to take it. As we do this often, I urge you, Church, to not fall into complacency towards this ordinance. Do not take for granted what is written in scripture, what you hear from the elders, and what you do in observing the supper. Rather, allow the weight and the joy of the meaning of the Supper and what it is pointing us to, to encourage, strengthen, and remind you of the truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This gospel that is the very core of our spiritual “aliveness,” and the foundation of how we ought to live.
Briefly, I’d like us to consider the Past, Present, and Future nature of the Supper as we prepare to partake together.
First, the Supper reminds us of the Past – we remember the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, unjustly and heinously put to death on a cross, and yet this act was in complete obedience to the will of the Father. Not as divine child-abuse as some have wrongly stated, but as a substitute lamb, slain before the foundation of the world, in our stead, that we might be reconciled, having our sins and iniquities washed clean in the blood of the lamb, and to be adopted as children of the Most High God.
Consider what is recorded for us in Isaiah 53:
“Surely he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows… He was pierced for our transgressions… crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed…
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief… Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous… he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressor.”
Next, the Supper challenges us in the present – some have called this the “current pledge.” It is where we, as partakers of the grace of Christ, are renewed in our call of obedience. We are certainly not saved by good works, but we must not forget that we are saved into a life of good works. Consider Paul’s words in Ephesians:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Consider also Jesus’ words in the great commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…
Let us not forget the Holy Spirit’s command to His people, as written in 1 Peter,
As obedient children, do not be confirmed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
It is here, church, that we gaze in wonder on the great love shown for us, remembering that we do not work for that love, but work from it, by the grace of our Lord.
Lastly, the Supper points us to the future – Notice Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11,
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Yes, it is true that Jesus Christ died and was buried. But he did not stay buried… As Peter says in Acts 2,
“This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.”
And Paul states in Philippians 2,
“xTherefore yGod has zhighly exalted him and bestowed on him athe name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus bevery knee should bow, cin heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and devery tongue confess that Jesus Christ is eLord, to the glory of God the Father.”
So Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, where he is reigning and actively making his enemies his footstool (Acts 2).
On top of this, we have the confident assurance that Jesus will return, bringing complete salvation to all who believe in him. Consider what that NT says about Jesus’ second coming:
Acts 1:10-11 “10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, vtwo wmen stood by them in xwhite robes, 11 and said, y“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, zwill acome in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
1 John 2:28 “28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that twhen he appears uwe may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his vcoming.
Rev. 22 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life…
He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
So, then Church, as we approach the table, let us consider how the Supper:
Reminds us of the past – the sufferings of our Lord for our iniquities and redemption
Challenges us in the present – the call on our life to live in obedience to our Lord
Points us to the future – having the confident assurance that our Lord is returning, and our salvation will be complete.
Let’s pray together:
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For xI received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that ythe Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for6 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”7 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death zuntil he comes.
Come, Church, and join me at the table.