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Sermons For This Week:

     1 Cor. 11:17-29  -  A World In Communion
     
Mark 10:2-16  -  Divorce and Children 

World Communion Sermon - On this Sunday, while Americans were sleeping, Christians in the Democratic Republic of Congo left their homes for places of worship to see their pastors take bread in their hands and declare, “This is my body.” In the Church of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem were heard the words, “This is my body.” In Saint Paul’s in London a hush fell across the congregation as the pastor declared, “This is my body.” In churches and cathedrals across the United States today pastors take bread into their hands and declare, “This is my body.” In thatched-roof mission stations across the islands of the Pacific this afternoon will be uttered, “This is my body.”

This is World Wide Communion Sunday. Throughout the world churches of all denominations, in all nations, in many languages, are celebrating the Lord’s Supper. And, it couldn’t have come at a better time. We need this time together to remember that our Lord also suffered. And, we need this time also to remember that he did so on our behalf. Not just for you and me but for neighbors next door. Neighbors across the street. And neighbors around the world. “God so loved the world” begins that most memorable verse in the Gospel of John. It is as true in this war torn age as it was then in that time of unrest.

 

The Lord’s Supper teaches us about the necessity of unity. The Apostle Paul tried to get this point across to the Corinthians. They were a divided church and were following many different teachers and teachings. Paul let them know, in no uncertain terms, that their divisions were not acceptable. He explained that to participate in the meal and leave others out or allow division amongst themselves was tantamount to drinking and eating judgment upon themselves. Communion is serious business.

 

A story is told of a head usher at a particular church who went to his pastor with a problem. It seems that despite all of his urgings, he simply could not get people to stand close enough together at the communion rail. In a frustrated tone, he told the pastor how each time he sent the proper number of people up, but they never seem to fit just right. “Some people leave 6 to 8 inches between them and the person next to them, which crowds up the ones on the very end.” In desperation he threw up his hands and said: “Can’t people get close together even at communion?”

 

Perhaps the head ushers frustration points out very adequately the larger difficulties we face as we come together on this World Wide Communion Sunday. The problem was the few inches that separate people at the communion rail. But in the larger picture, it is far more than space that separates us. We in the church are kept apart by...

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Sermon on Mark 10:2-16  -  The U.S. Census Bureau report for the decade of the 90's was released May 15 2001. Here are its disturbing findings concerning the family. Households headed by unmarried partners grew by almost 72 percent from 1990 to 2000. Most of these arrangements were men and women living together out of wedlock. Other studies have shown that cohabitation increased by close to 1,000 percent from 1960 to 1998. Households headed by single mothers increased by more than 25 percent, and those led by single fathers grew, get this, by almost 62 percent. And this next finding is astounding: For the first time ever, nuclear families dropped below 25 percent of households. That’s a mom and a dad and children, the nuclear family, represents less than a quarter of all homes.

Another finding partially explains why this is happening: A third of all babies are born to unmarried women (33 percent) compared to only 4 percent in 1940. You will remember some years back the actress Jodie Foster was in the news because she chose to bear and raise a child alone. There are a growing number of women in their late 20’s and 30’s who are doing the same. Our culture is teaching that this is normal. In this new world old taboos against divorce and cohabitation are disappearing. Culture is abandoning its commitment to lifelong marriage. It is predicted now, based on these trends, that about half of the children today will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.

 

This moral breakdown in our society has many factors: The sexual revolution of the sixties, the secularization of our society, the women’s movement, even the increase in leisure time is responsible. But there is one reason more than any other for the demise of the family—divorce.

 

One day Jesus is in Judea, when a great crowd came to him. In this crowd are Pharisees who decide to step forward and test Jesus. They ask, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” In other words, is it God’s will that a man should be able to divorce his wife? “What did Moses command you?” Jesus asked. The Pharisees knew the answer, ‘Moses permitted a man to divorce his wife and send her away.” It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law, Jesus replied. His response is not so much a glimpse into the mind of God as it is an indictment on the human heart.

 

This morning let us look at God’s heart concerning:

 

1. Divorce

2. Children

3. And the Family

 

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Grace and Peace,

Rev. Brett Blair
ChristianGlobe Network

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