At the center of the requirement to honor Godís name is the requirement to worship God rightly. In Dt. 12, we saw last week that this meant gathering in the place where God has placed his name and eating and drinking and rejoicing there with the family of God. That is what we are doing here. We are gathered around this table to rejoice before the Lord as his family. We have just called upon the name of our God as ĎOur Fatherí and now you are invited to sit down at this table as his children, his beloved sons and daughters. Rejoicing at this table does not mean that God is not also sanctifying you here at this table; in fact one of the central ways God is training you as his children, chastising you as his sons is by feeding you on the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Every week we gather here and rejoice, give thanks, and celebrate the lamb that was slain. We are here rejoicing in the greatest act of injustice in the history of the world, the greatest scandal, the most excruciating execution ever. We are here gathered around the table of Our Father, and he is serving up Christ Crucified for dinner. He is serving up the shed blood and torn flesh of his Beloved Son. This should cause us to pause. Jesus has called us to be his disciples, to follow him, to take up our cross, and we know that in Him, our salvation is already completely and unalterably accomplished and secure. He is the author and finisher of our faith. But this salvation that he has won for us is patterned after his life. We are called to follow him, and this means that rejoicing around this table is what we are called to. We are called to lives of joyful suffering. We are called to live with all the challenges, pains, hurts, disappointments of life and to offer thanks back to the goodness of God. This is a great mystery. But the cross is our pattern. We have been called to follow him who enduring great suffering for the joy set before him. Therefore as you come and eat this bread and drink this wine with joy; do not forget that you are eating and drinking the lamb that was slain and raised up to glory.
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