Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2018 was the 35th Anniversary in our 36th year in Ministry.
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Sermon #216 for Holy Thursday B The Giving Of The Eucharist April 20, 2000


 

This page will feature the full order of the service of the Liturgy Of The Word as it was celebrated on Palm Sunday, 2000.

After reading and praying the worship service, the Scripture Readings and the Sermon, be sure to return to the Semon Index page by clicking your mouse on the link that looks like this at the bottom of the page:

Ray Of Hope Church Celebration Of

Holy Thursday 2000



A very special welcome to our visitors. You are as welcome here as Jesus Christ himself. Be comfortable and join in all parts of the worship service. We are building a wonderful Christ-centered Community here, and we invite you to share in our joy! After the Worship Service, please join us for a time of refreshments and sharing.

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L: Tonight we celebrate the giving of the Holy Eucharist, our Holy Communion Meal Of Christ. We give God Glory!

A: We give God glory and praise and honor and thanksgiving for loving us so much that God even provided a New and Holy Bread From Heaven to sustain us until Christ Comes again in Glory. Alleluia!

L: We begin our celebration then,

A: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

L: Let us pray.

A: We come to you, O God, this night to give you praise and glory for all you did for us through Christ Jesus Our Lord. Open our hearts now to meditate on the sacred mystery of giving of the Bread Of Life and the Cup Of Salvation on the night before He was betrayed. We ask this in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Singspiration: G&P #686 Praise To The Lord, The Almighty!
Personal Reflection: Notebook #78 Grant To Us O Lord

Gloria Patri and the Sign Of Peace

The following are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our sermons are based on these readings.

Scripture Readings in our Worship Service this holy night:

Hebrew Scripture: Exodus 12:1-14 NRSV HT PG 58

1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

This is the Word Of The Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm G&P # 612 For You Are My God Psalm 16

1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


Christian Scripture:1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NRSV CT PG 173

23For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This is the Word Of The Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Holy Gospel Of Christ Jesus: John 13:1-7, 31-35 NRSV CT PGs 107 and 108

1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 7Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

31When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

This is the Gospel of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!





Brother Benedict, Sermon 216

Holy Thursday B The Giving Of The Eucharist April 20, 2000



Tonight Jesus calls our attention to another one of His personal gifts to us, His sacred New Covenant Meal which He commanded we share often in His Name.
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I am certain you noticed the first reading was about the Passover Meal and the instructions given to Moses on exactly how it was to be conducted. The reason this reading is our first reading is Jesus gave the Holy Eucharist during the last Passover Meal He celebrated with His disciples the night before His crucifixion. Jesus also associated the Passover Meal of Moses to His Eucharistic Meal in John Chapter Six.

John 6:30-33 tells us the crowd asked Jesus: "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." And on in verse 41; "I am the bread which came down from heaven." In the same teaching we have these words at verse 48-51; "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." Notice Jesus first says God gave the manna in the desert, but it did not give eternal life. Jesus calls Himself the true bread that has come down from heaven and He says this bread gives eternal life. Jesus also says one must eat of this bread to live forever. Finally He says it is His own flesh, this bread, which He shall give for the life of the world.

If the words of Jesus stopped here we could say the whole teaching is all about believing in the crucified sacrificed flesh on the cross. However, Jesus goes on to say; (John 6:53-58) "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is real food indeed, and My blood is real drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven - not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." Clearly, Jesus is saying He will soon give real food that will be His own flesh and blood, the Bread of Life and the Cup Of Salvation. We realize now that Jesus gave this teaching before the night of the Last Supper. It is obvious, therefore, that the food he foretold was the very bread and wine of the Last Supper.

Sisters and brothers, I am not surprised if some of you find this teaching hard to believe, hard to accept. Even the very day Jesus gave the teaching people who had followed Him to that moment refused to follow Him after hearing the Bread Of Life doctrine. Look at John 6:66 where it says; "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." The very first day Jesus taught His doctrine of the Eucharist, believers gave up the faith.

Incidentally, for those who are interested in biblical numerology, the number 6 stands for humanity. Many of you know the number for the anti-christ in the Book Of Revelation is 666. That number is used for that time in the future when the human community will totally reject God and be self-centered. In other words the number 666 stands for "man" "man" "man"; "self" "self" "self", etc. Well, this awful moment when some of the very disciples of Christ refused to follow Him after He gave the introductory lesson on the Holy Eucharist happens at John chapter 6, verse 66; that is 666.

People have been refusing to accept the power of the Eucharist where Christ mystically, miraculously, but very definitely gives us His own Body and Blood in a sacramental way to feed upon when we celebrate this meal for centuries. Whole denominations have been formed.

I was reading a book entitled "Timeline Charts of the Western Church" written by Susan Lynn Peterson in 1999, and on page 18 there is information for the year 95 AD. Keep in mind, the Book Of Revelation was written in the same year. The book says:

"Eucharist. From the Greek word eucharistia meaning thankfulness or gratitude, the term begins to be used very early in the history of the church to refer to the service of the Lord’s Supper, (biblical roots: 1 Cor. 11:23-25 and the Synoptic Gospels). By the end of the first century, the Eucharist is widely celebrated on Sunday. The practice becomes virtually universal in the second or third century."

We see from this source the Holy Spirit directed the Church to make the Eucharistic Meal of Christ central to the worship of the Church along side of the Holy Scriptures at the earliest days of the organizing of the Church.

It is only in this context that the very words of Jesus at the Last Supper can even begin to make sense. When He picked up the bread memorializing the Exodus bread of Moses He said: "This is My Body given for you, take it and eat it all of you. When ever you do this do it in memory of Me." You see, in John six He said, "the Bread that I shall give...." and on Holy Thursday night He held up bread and said this was His flesh, His body and He told them to eat it. Likewise, in John six He told them His blood was "real drink" and that He would give it..... and so on Holy Thursday night He held up wine and said; "This is the cup of my blood, the Blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven, do this in memory of Me."

Notice He is holding the cup, declaring it to be His Blood but then saying it WILL be shed for you and for all. This proves he knew the wine didn’t turn into His human blood, or His blood would have drained out of Him on Holy Thursday instead of Good Friday. He died when His human blood drained out of Him on Good Friday. Like wise, as He held up the Eucharistic bread of His presence, the new Bread From Heaven, He said this was His flesh which "will" be shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. He knew it was physical bread, He knew He still had His physical flesh on His own bones to be torn and shed on Good Friday.

Did Jesus struggle over the fact He was holding Bread and calling it His flesh, and serving wine and calling it His own true Blood? No He didn’t. Then, we must stop struggling over it too. This is a divine miracle, and there is no need for us to explain it anymore than there was for Jesus to explain it. If He thought an explanation was appropriate for the future acceptance of the Eucharistic Miracle, He would have given it. Therefore, for us to wrangle over it and try to create an explanation of how it is His Body and Blood while it still looks and tastes like bread and wine is to show a lack of faith in what Jesus provided us in this most Blessed Sacrament. The Apostles accepted it as real presence, the four Evangelists wrote about it, Paul wrote about it, it has been the center of the faith along side the Bible since the beginning of the Church, therefore, we must fully accept it as fact:

Jesus gives us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink every time we are obedient to Him and bless bread and wine, break and pour it out in His Name for the remission of sins and salvation of souls. Friends, in Christ, this is a done deal and we should shout alleluias for so tremendous of a gift.

On December 26, 1999 Ray Of Hope Church had a Eucharistic Miracle. After Communion was served we were clearing the Table Of The Lord, the Altar, when I saw a beautifully formed cross on one of the cloths. The cross was made of Blessed Eucharistic Wine. It was a glorious moment for all of us.. Here are two attempts to photograph the miracle of the Eucharist of December 26, 1999.

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Why do Eucharistic Miracles happen? To remind us we are not dealing with symbols here, to remind us we are not playing religion, playing church, to remind us God is real, and just as His presence is real at all times and in all places, His presence is real in His Miracles.

We accept the real presence of Christ in our midst, when we read the Scripture, when we ask for guidance, in the waters of baptism, in the sacrament of forgiveness of our sins with reconciliation and restoration, in His quoted words in the Gospels, even in physical, spiritual, and emotional miracles. Then why do some question His ability to be just really present in the sacrament of His Holy Communion, His Holy Eucharist, His own Supper....... what is wrong with us?

So tonight, on this Holy Thursday of the year 2,000 I hope each person has a full conversion of heart in regard to the real presence of Christ in this sacred meal. Give Christ the benefit of the doubt, He meant what He said, "This is my Body" and "this is my Blood" "take and eat", "take and drink", for they are given for you. Let us stand in awe that we have this most Blessed Sacrament in our midst. Christ is so good to all of us. In the presence of our enemies He continually prepares His table before us. Alleluia, sing to Jesus! So wonderful! So good! So loving is He.

May Almighty God bless you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing of Meal, shared Supper-please refrain from desert

Washing Of Feet:

Song: G&P 363 The Lord Jesus

Prayers of the People

Offering of our financial support as gift to God.

Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, our Holy Communion, our commemoration of the Last Supper.

Song: G&P 521 Look Beyond The Bread You Eat

Final Blessing

Song: G&P 499 One Bread, One Body

Desert and Fellowship

Decorating the Lenten Cross in white fowers.

 

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