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What's Communion All About and Jesus' Biggest Teaching
Episode 52nd November 2021 • Everyday Disciples • St Matthew, Grand Rapids
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In our first segment, Pastor Mattthew, Pastor Rob Appold and Adam Vanderstelt chat about Communion in a bit of a deep dive. We do it every week at our church and we don't always get to talk about what it's all about.

Next, Adam and Matthew take a look at why we sing what we sing, looking at a song that we often use during communion at our contemporary service – O Come to the Altar.

In the final segment, we introduce a new recurring Bible study segment where we’re going to look at the Sermon on the Mount with just our Bibles and reflect on Jesus’ teaching.

If you have a suggestion for a topic or a question you'd like us to address, let us know! Reach out to us at media@stmatthewgr.com.

Transcripts

Matthew Starner:

welcome back to Everyday disciples, where we

Matthew Starner:

strive to follow Jesus every day, wherever we are. I'm Pastor

Matthew Starner:

Matthew Starner and I'm so glad you're joining us today. Every

Matthew Starner:

week, we're seeing more and more people subscribing and tuning

Matthew Starner:

in. And I just wanna let you know that we are so thankful for

Matthew Starner:

you, our listeners. In our first segment today, I sit down with

Matthew Starner:

Pastor Rob apple, and Adam Vander stellt, to talk about

Matthew Starner:

communion in a bit of a deep dive. It's something that we do

Matthew Starner:

at our church every week, but we don't always have time to talk

Matthew Starner:

about what's happening in this meal that we share. So we'll dig

Matthew Starner:

into that together. In our second segment, Adam and I take

Matthew Starner:

a look at why we sing what we sing, and look at a song that we

Matthew Starner:

often use during communion at our contemporary service. Oh,

Matthew Starner:

come to the altar. And finally, we're starting a new recurring

Matthew Starner:

Bible study segment, where we're going to look at the sermon on

Matthew Starner:

the mount with just our Bibles and reflect on Jesus teaching no

Matthew Starner:

commentaries or resources other than our Bibles in a way that

Matthew Starner:

you might have a conversation with your family and friends

Matthew Starner:

about God's word. We've got a lot of great stuff ahead. Let's

Matthew Starner:

get going.

Matthew Starner:

Well welcome, once again, I'm sitting here today with Pastor

Matthew Starner:

Rob apples and Adam Vander stellt. And we're ready to do

Matthew Starner:

another little deep dive here. And we thought, doing a deep

Matthew Starner:

dive on the topic of communion. We've got another segment

Matthew Starner:

talking about that a little later in the show. But I thought

Matthew Starner:

it might be interesting to kind of dive into this practice that

Matthew Starner:

at St. Matthew, it's something that we do every week. Some

Matthew Starner:

churches do it. Occasionally. Some Some do it like every other

Matthew Starner:

week, or just periodically throughout the year. But this

Matthew Starner:

practice that we all, all Christians share, sharing

Matthew Starner:

communion, but but we hold different a variety of beliefs

Matthew Starner:

about what communion is all about what's happening, whether

Matthew Starner:

it's something that we're doing, or something that God's doing.

Matthew Starner:

And so I want to just kind of throw that out there, to the

Matthew Starner:

three of us here to say sort of, you know, in, in kind of

Matthew Starner:

everyday disciple language, how do you talk about what's going

Matthew Starner:

on in communion?

Rob Appold:

A lot has been written, I mean, you can get

Rob Appold:

volumes of books, when basically all Jesus said is the words of

Rob Appold:

institution, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and then First

Rob Appold:

Corinthians, other supporting information in First Corinthians

Rob Appold:

10, and 11. But yeah, a lot has come up about communion.

Matthew Starner:

We like to get divided about draw lines to

Matthew Starner:

like, Okay, well, you believe this, and I believe this and,

Matthew Starner:

you know, that communion alone, I think, divide some different

Matthew Starner:

denominations and stuff and, you know, for for good or for ill, I

Matthew Starner:

guess,

Rob Appold:

yeah. And more for ILL than for for good. And I get

Rob Appold:

distinctions. But to be honest with you, I think some, actually

Rob Appold:

some burdens have been laid on people through it all too.

Matthew Starner:

Sure. Yeah, there's a, you know, a variety

Matthew Starner:

of opinions as far as like, who's doing what, in communion?

Matthew Starner:

You know, this is we find ourselves here in Grand Rapids

Matthew Starner:

in kind of the the reformed land. So there's a lot of lot of

Matthew Starner:

the kind of idea that this is this is a act of remembrance,

Matthew Starner:

that we're remembering what Jesus did, certainly important

Matthew Starner:

aspect of it. But there's more to it for

Rob Appold:

us. Right. And this would not be the lightning rod

Rob Appold:

for the Lutheran and the reformed. I mean, one of the

Rob Appold:

bigger dividing points between the two. Sure, I mean, it comes

Rob Appold:

from a deeper spot, but this is the the point that Lutherans and

Rob Appold:

reformed like to argue about sure for history and actually

Rob Appold:

had wars.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, yeah, that's something we don't think

Matthew Starner:

about if you want to get into you know, Christian history. You

Matthew Starner:

know, there were there were actually wars fought over these

Matthew Starner:

things back in the days of the Reformation. Thank God, we've

Matthew Starner:

passed that right. Now. We just do it online. We just argue on

Matthew Starner:

Facebook.

Adam VanderStelt:

Well, growing up, when you say that I remember

Adam VanderStelt:

actually, every every communion table that was in I grew up in a

Adam VanderStelt:

Christian Reformed Church, and have served in Christian

Adam VanderStelt:

Reformed churches and every one of the tables, communion tables

Adam VanderStelt:

that they've used. Have those words, Do this in remembrance of

Adam VanderStelt:

me on the front?

Rob Appold:

And really, again, get behind all of that is, is

Rob Appold:

this something? Are we emphasizing what God is doing?

Rob Appold:

Are we emphasizing what we're doing for God? And is it a

Rob Appold:

sacramental or a sacrificial part of the service? And so

Rob Appold:

there's, there's reasons for it but sure, we want to keep them

Matthew Starner:

healthy. Sure. And that can if that's our

Matthew Starner:

primary mindset like it can become an obedience thing,

Matthew Starner:

right? So I'm being obedient. I'm following that command,

Matthew Starner:

right to remember. So So let me demonstrate my obedience here.

Matthew Starner:

How would you say, Pastor Rob? The the Lutheran attitude if

Matthew Starner:

it's not one of obedience, what would you call it? Yeah, well,

Matthew Starner:

I've towards it.

Rob Appold:

I again I think you know to get behind it is that

Rob Appold:

Matthew Do this in remembrance of me. I don't know if it's an

Rob Appold:

all the words of institution. I'm just thumbing through my

Rob Appold:

Bible right now. I don't think it's in the other places of the

Rob Appold:

words of institution, Matthew, you got your computer there, you

Rob Appold:

can probably find it better. But okay, so do this in remembrance

Rob Appold:

of me. Certainly, we are doing something we are breaking bread,

Rob Appold:

we're eating bread and drinking wine. The again, what does the

Rob Appold:

word remembrance mean? One part of it is cognitively remember.

Rob Appold:

And that's kind of that whole, hey, this is an act of

Rob Appold:

obedience, we're remembering the central act of Jesus, His

Rob Appold:

substitutionary death on the cross is the resurrection from

Rob Appold:

the dead. Fantastic. That is certainly part of it.

Rob Appold:

Understanding that word of remembrance, it comes from the

Rob Appold:

Hebrew. And if you look at, remember, it means that is a

Rob Appold:

theologically packed word that that means a lot. God remembered

Rob Appold:

his people, God remembered, Joseph, it means really to take

Rob Appold:

a past event. So recall that past event, but apply the

Rob Appold:

benefits of that past event to your situation today. So in

Rob Appold:

communion, it's certainly looking back to the cross and

Rob Appold:

the death of Jesus and the resurrection, but apply those

Rob Appold:

into your life today. So for your life and the brokenness,

Rob Appold:

the sinfulness, the sins of omission, the sins of

Rob Appold:

commission, you know, you could go through the whole list, I

Rob Appold:

mean, if you wanted to, but to say, You know what, there is

Rob Appold:

forgiveness for me in that sin, and therefore, I will live as a

Rob Appold:

regenerate. I desire by the spirits, leading and guiding to

Rob Appold:

live as a regenerate child of God and not fall into the same

Rob Appold:

pattern of sinfulness. This is the idea of remembrance in its

Rob Appold:

fuller capability, and that God is giving me the exact power I

Rob Appold:

need the very presence and the personhood of Jesus into my

Rob Appold:

life.

Matthew Starner:

That's great. Yeah, that that full aspect of

Matthew Starner:

it's more than just a reenactment. Yes, yeah. That

Matthew Starner:

Jesus is there with us. Just found those verses here real

Matthew Starner:

quick. So Matthew and Mark both don't mention the remembrance

Matthew Starner:

aspect Luke And then Paul in First Corinthians Okay, he says

Matthew Starner:

it both of them highlight the do

Rob Appold:

this, that's what I meant. Yeah.

Matthew Starner:

But all four of them all four of those places

Matthew Starner:

talk about it. This is an important aspect of Jesus

Matthew Starner:

ministry and something that he does give to us to do it is

Matthew Starner:

something for us to continue to do as we come together as

Matthew Starner:

Christians maybe one of the other aspects that we like to

Matthew Starner:

draw lines between like denominations is what actually

Matthew Starner:

is happening in the Lord's Supper we as Lutherans you know

Matthew Starner:

take very seriously Jesus words that this is my body this is my

Matthew Starner:

blood for us you know is means is it's right this is body this

Matthew Starner:

is odd. There are other other flavors of Christianity out

Matthew Starner:

there that like to take it as it represents it's representative

Matthew Starner:

of

Rob Appold:

we know that would be the probably what Adam you

Rob Appold:

grew up with. This symbolizes Jesus body. This symbolizes his

Rob Appold:

blood. And again, this became I mean it, Lou Thursday. Again,

Rob Appold:

this was a fight. These were fighting words, these were no we

Rob Appold:

can't. And I mean, praise God. Luther was stubborn when it came

Rob Appold:

to the Word of God. But, you know, Jesus could have used the

Rob Appold:

word symbol if you meant symbol, but and I'm sure, Matthew, you

Rob Appold:

know, the, the, the arguments Luther had, what's his lingually

Rob Appold:

on the Lord's Supper?

Matthew Starner:

Sure. Yeah, you know, this, this is my body. He

Matthew Starner:

used that word for a reason. This is my blood. You know,

Matthew Starner:

it's, I think one of the things I appreciate about Lutheran

Matthew Starner:

theology is we we take God at His Word. You know, when when

Matthew Starner:

God says something, we believe it without trying to explain it

Matthew Starner:

away.

Rob Appold:

Right, well, we save that, but there are a lot of

Rob Appold:

volumes of a lot of ink on how exactly is this happening? And

Rob Appold:

that's true. This is one thing I, you know, there is a mystery

Rob Appold:

to this. I don't think all the I mean, I know there's, you

Rob Appold:

probably have books on your shelf, trying to explain when

Rob Appold:

does Jesus body join the bread and wine? I don't know. And I

Rob Appold:

think in that bottom line, none of us know that and

Matthew Starner:

and that's that's what I was was trying to

Matthew Starner:

get at like, as we're comfortable with the mystery.

Matthew Starner:

Okay, we're comfortable with with it not necessarily being

Matthew Starner:

fully rational. You know, I know like for for those in the Calvin

Matthew Starner:

tradition. You know, Calvin wanted everything to be rational

Matthew Starner:

wanted to work it all out so that it made sense. Where

Matthew Starner:

Lutheran Lutheran are very much okay with saying, we're only

Matthew Starner:

going to go as far as what the Bible says, the Bible says this

Matthew Starner:

is my body doesn't say how doesn't say when doesn't say,

Matthew Starner:

You know what manner it becomes the body. So I love that you

Matthew Starner:

Luther had that that phrase that it's, you know, the body in with

Matthew Starner:

and under

Rob Appold:

the brand. Did that come from Luther himself? Do you

Rob Appold:

know? Oh, you

Matthew Starner:

know, I? I guess I always assumed that it

Matthew Starner:

did, because that's what I've always heard and confirmation

Matthew Starner:

after research. Now. I guess I don't know if that actually

Matthew Starner:

originated with him or if that came later on. But Lutherans I

Matthew Starner:

guess I've always had that phrase, which describes

Matthew Starner:

everything and nothing at the same time, right. It doesn't

Matthew Starner:

doesn't explain how it works in with an under what does that

Matthew Starner:

mean? But but it? That's what the Bible says that this is the

Matthew Starner:

body this is the blood?

Rob Appold:

Yeah, it was. I don't, again, I'd have to look

Rob Appold:

back on but to try to. Because there was the obviously the

Rob Appold:

other side of the world of Transubstantiation of the

Rob Appold:

classical Roman Catholic theology. That Lutherans, we're

Rob Appold:

trying to differentiate and be complete as much as possible to

Rob Appold:

say, yes, the body of blood of Christ is in the bread and the

Rob Appold:

wine. But it is not changed into so it's under the forms of bread

Rob Appold:

and wine. In within? Well, in and width and then under. Yeah.

Rob Appold:

So it gets into a whole lot of church history as well. Right?

Rob Appold:

Yeah.

Matthew Starner:

And you can you can certainly, I mean, we're,

Matthew Starner:

this is a deep dive segment. But we're, we're barely putting our

Matthew Starner:

toe in the water of how deep you can actually go if you want to

Matthew Starner:

really dig into the depths of theology, which for most folks,

Matthew Starner:

they're probably okay. Having a having a good grasp on, what

Matthew Starner:

does it actually mean for me?

Rob Appold:

And that means Jesus asked her, that's what I would.

Rob Appold:

And maybe I'm too simple, but that Jesus is with me, he's for

Rob Appold:

me, he has given Himself to me that I need that. I mean, I

Rob Appold:

would be happy with people knowing and believing that

Rob Appold:

without trying to explain all of these aspects of these things

Rob Appold:

that are really a mystery. How does it really happen? We know

Rob Appold:

we're going to trust God on that.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, I think if there's any takeaway, maybe

Matthew Starner:

that's the the big one that be okay with embracing the mystery

Matthew Starner:

and simply trust in the words that Jesus says that we hear

Matthew Starner:

every here at St. Matthew, we hear every week when we do

Matthew Starner:

communion that this is my body, this is my blood given and shed

Matthew Starner:

for you for the forgiveness of your sins. Like, that's all we

Matthew Starner:

need to get.

Rob Appold:

Okay. Well, the the danger in having weekly

Rob Appold:

communion is

Matthew Starner:

that it becomes routine. Yeah. Just another

Matthew Starner:

thing to check off on the list.

Adam VanderStelt:

Well, I mean, for me, who growing up, I think

Adam VanderStelt:

we had communion, probably every six to eight weeks is become

Adam VanderStelt:

really formational for me. And maybe that's just because I'm

Adam VanderStelt:

new to this tradition. But I think that your habits form who

Adam VanderStelt:

you are. And so even, even if a habit isn't fully appreciated,

Adam VanderStelt:

week to week, I think it's still important. And that it's it's

Adam VanderStelt:

still formational as part of the growth process, and I've just

Adam VanderStelt:

been really grateful for for that here. Another thing that

Adam VanderStelt:

I've noticed is that it seems like a worship service on

Adam VanderStelt:

Sunday. The direction is towards the table. And what I mean by

Adam VanderStelt:

that is everything that comes before and everything that is

Adam VanderStelt:

after communion, is pointing towards that moment. Where in

Adam VanderStelt:

churches that I've served out in In the past, they've more

Adam VanderStelt:

pointed towards the sermon. Or even in another church, it's

Adam VanderStelt:

more pointed towards like an altar call, or the baptismal

Adam VanderStelt:

font. And so it's a really compelling thing. When we we do

Adam VanderStelt:

all of those things in the direction of our need. Do you

Adam VanderStelt:

know I'm saying, so we're coming in our need to the table, and

Adam VanderStelt:

that's what this the service on Sunday becomes.

Rob Appold:

Thanks. That's, that's refreshing. And thanks

Rob Appold:

for sharing that. Because Jesus did say do this. And, you know,

Rob Appold:

with the aspect of continue to do this, he doesn't say how many

Rob Appold:

times and how often on Sunday, so I take communion in both

Rob Appold:

services. I don't know if you do. Yeah. But I think there's a

Rob Appold:

I've heard this, and I can't verify it, that Martin Luther

Rob Appold:

said, unless a Christian took communion, at least four times a

Rob Appold:

year. He should question whether he's a Christian. Well, that at

Rob Appold:

least became the maximum in some traditions and some efforts to

Rob Appold:

how often do we do this? Well, four times is what Luther said,

Rob Appold:

that's all you got to do it and it became Christmas, Easter and

Rob Appold:

maybe Pentecost or something like that. But yes, the the

Rob Appold:

thinking has been, this is a word and sacrament and we need

Rob Appold:

both. For the renewal renewal of our faith. These are both means

Rob Appold:

of grace that God uses to form us.

Matthew Starner:

Yep, yeah. And in the church that I grew up at.

Matthew Starner:

Communion was not an every week thing in every service, I think.

Matthew Starner:

Because I remember lots of services without communion. I,

Matthew Starner:

when I was a little older, it was I remember it being

Matthew Starner:

communion was that it was every week, but at one one week, it

Matthew Starner:

was the early service. The next it was the late service kind of

Matthew Starner:

alternated that way. I don't remember as a kid, if that's how

Matthew Starner:

it was. But yeah, it has definitely kind of ebbed and

Matthew Starner:

flowed throughout time. As as more more of a regular practice

Matthew Starner:

or more of a reserved practice. And,

Rob Appold:

and there definitely was too much as a push back to

Rob Appold:

the Catholic practice of daily. Sure. Communion and Protestants

Rob Appold:

and Lutherans would fall under that under that umbrella would

Rob Appold:

say, well, we're, we're not that. So. Right. Now. We're not

Rob Appold:

going to do it too much. Right. And that that fear of, oh, if we

Rob Appold:

do it too much, it will become meaningless. This is important.

Rob Appold:

Well, you can look at that two ways to Adams married I'm sure

Rob Appold:

his wife doesn't say you kiss me daily, and it is meaningless.

Rob Appold:

Right? Are you? Yeah, you You're right. I did that.

Adam VanderStelt:

Right. Right, just checking in still love you.

Rob Appold:

And I do, I do pray, people do have the opportunity

Rob Appold:

to reflect and prepare themselves spiritually. But I

Rob Appold:

also know the reality of Sunday morning is pretty fast paced.

Rob Appold:

And if you have children, it's it's not always that most holy

Rob Appold:

of exterior moments, but good things are going on in the

Rob Appold:

reception of communion,

Matthew Starner:

right. And I think just to kind of, you know,

Matthew Starner:

circle all the way back around, remembering that even even when

Matthew Starner:

I haven't had time to properly prepare my heart, or when I'm,

Matthew Starner:

you know, trying to drag the kids up to the front or

Matthew Starner:

something and wrestle with all of that. It's not about what I'm

Matthew Starner:

doing. Amen. But it's about what Jesus is doing in that moment.

Matthew Starner:

And so we get to, we get to receive that, you know, whether

Matthew Starner:

we've whether we've prepared fully or not, which I think is a

Matthew Starner:

great thing. So thanks, guys. Appreciate this conversation and

Matthew Starner:

look forward to the next time we get to do a deep

Rob Appold:

dive God bless.

Matthew Starner:

Welcome back, and we're sitting here with Adam

Matthew Starner:

Vander stellt again to talk about why we sing what we sing.

Matthew Starner:

And this week we thought we would look at a song that's been

Matthew Starner:

around for a little while kind of reasonably newer song. I

Matthew Starner:

guess six years old now looking at the

Adam VanderStelt:

Yep. 2016

Matthew Starner:

Oh, come to the altar. One that we sing at the

Matthew Starner:

late service the contemporary service here. And Adam, I don't

Matthew Starner:

know about you, but what did you What did you think when you

Matthew Starner:

first heard this song?

Adam VanderStelt:

Well, when I first heard this song, Pastor

Adam VanderStelt:

Matt, I thought that it was an altar call song. Like a modern

Adam VanderStelt:

Billy Graham. Yes, sort of end of the program. Song and that's

Adam VanderStelt:

what I heard.

Matthew Starner:

And I was I was in that same boat. I remember

Matthew Starner:

hearing the song and and, like, you know, hearing it and not

Matthew Starner:

paying attention to it the first time but like, like, I like

Matthew Starner:

that. What is this that I'm hearing? And, you know,

Matthew Starner:

recognizing the chorus that will come to the altar bit and like

Matthew Starner:

you going oh, man, this is an altar call song to bandwidth

Matthew Starner:

can't use this song because it's pretty good haha. And then I got

Matthew Starner:

looking at it a little closer and it's like, you know what, I

Matthew Starner:

think there's maybe more going on here than simply an altar

Matthew Starner:

call song. And he kind of like dug into the lyrics a little bit

Matthew Starner:

and said, You know, I think this is a communion song as much as

Matthew Starner:

it is an altar call song. I don't think they wrote it as a

Matthew Starner:

communion song. You know this so this this comes from elevation

Matthew Starner:

worship Elevation Church, which is down in Atlanta, Georgia, big

Matthew Starner:

church, and especially one nowadays that's real popular

Matthew Starner:

online, they've got a great social media presence, you know,

Matthew Starner:

kind of very dynamic presence online. And they crank out a lot

Matthew Starner:

of great worship stuff,

Adam VanderStelt:

huh? Yes. You know, they have been a

Adam VanderStelt:

forerunner for for many years now.

Matthew Starner:

Right. And they're not all that old as no

Matthew Starner:

creation. I mean, they're, I forget that they started 15

Matthew Starner:

years ago or so. They've come a long ways. They're, they're in a

Matthew Starner:

similar vein, if you listen to Christian music, of like,

Matthew Starner:

Hillsong, and vertical vertical, yeah, those sorts of places.

Matthew Starner:

cranking out some really good, I think, really theologically rich

Matthew Starner:

songs. Yeah, there's a lot here, which was something that, you

Matthew Starner:

know, for a long time, contemporary Christian worship

Matthew Starner:

music was really sort of derided for, because it was all that

Matthew Starner:

fluffy stuff, you know, right. I remember people that call it

Matthew Starner:

happy, clappy music, happy clapping. And, you know, it has

Matthew Starner:

certainly grown and come into its own. So we have a song here,

Matthew Starner:

looking at some of these lyrics. Maybe? You know, that first

Matthew Starner:

verse, I think speaks to a lot of people. The lyrics there,

Matthew Starner:

I'll just read them for us real quick. Are you hurting and

Matthew Starner:

broken within? Who's Who does that not describe? Overwhelmed

Matthew Starner:

by the weight of your sin? Jesus is calling. Have you come to the

Matthew Starner:

end of yourself? Do you thirst for a drink from the Well, Jesus

Matthew Starner:

is calling. So right away, you know, reminding us who we are,

Matthew Starner:

you know, that we're broken, that we are imperfect, that we

Matthew Starner:

are needy in the sense that there's something that that we

Matthew Starner:

need inside of us that we can't provide for ourselves, that

Matthew Starner:

comes from outside of us that comes from Jesus.

Adam VanderStelt:

Yeah, this I mean, this is sort of our

Adam VanderStelt:

default condition, this brokenness and sense of guilt.

Adam VanderStelt:

And what is so wonderful about Sunday morning, is we get,

Adam VanderStelt:

perhaps we get beat up all week long, we get to come together.

Adam VanderStelt:

Jesus calls us to this place, and we can receive new life. In

Adam VanderStelt:

our broken condition, whatever state we're in, Jesus still

Adam VanderStelt:

calls.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah. And so the then moves into the chorus

Matthew Starner:

there of Oh, come to the altar. The Father's arms are open wide

Matthew Starner:

Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Matthew Starner:

So that that reminder of what we really need, that we really need

Matthew Starner:

forgiveness. And I love that. So like for a church that does an

Matthew Starner:

altar call, where it's sort of that often at the end of the

Matthew Starner:

services invitation to like, whether it's putting your hand

Matthew Starner:

up or actually coming forward to the altar to kind of rededicate

Matthew Starner:

yourself to receive something for a church like that, you

Matthew Starner:

know, that's there reminding people that this is about Jesus,

Matthew Starner:

there's forgiveness, the Father's arms are open wide. For

Matthew Starner:

for a communion song, though, I think it's it's even more

Matthew Starner:

powerful. Yeah, yeah. We know that that's what we receive in

Matthew Starner:

communion is forgiveness of sins, strengthening of our faith

Matthew Starner:

that was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ,

Matthew Starner:

which is what we're receiving also, right in communion, we're

Matthew Starner:

receiving his blood. And I love that line about the Father's

Matthew Starner:

arms are open wide, that that no matter how broken and hurting,

Matthew Starner:

we are, no matter how much you know, we've come to the end of

Matthew Starner:

ourself. The Father's arms are open for us. There's grace for

Matthew Starner:

us there. And I think that's huge. Yeah. And so it moves into

Matthew Starner:

then the the second verse there, which is a very similar vein to

Matthew Starner:

the first one, leave behind your regrets and mistakes. We've all

Matthew Starner:

got those right. Come today, there's no reason to wait. Now

Matthew Starner:

that I love that line. Because there's, there's a handful of

Matthew Starner:

people that I've met in my life, that for one reason or another,

Matthew Starner:

like don't take communion, often because of something that's

Matthew Starner:

happened in their past that they no longer feel like they're

Matthew Starner:

worthy to do that. They're still believers, they're still they're

Matthew Starner:

still Christians. But for whatever reason, they're,

Matthew Starner:

they're refraining from doing that. And I always want to say

Matthew Starner:

like, why there's forgiveness here. There's grace here and no

Matthew Starner:

one you're not excluded from that. There's no reason to wait.

Matthew Starner:

Come now come to you. And I just want to say that line to those

Matthew Starner:

folks. Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy. From the

Matthew Starner:

ashes a new life is born, Jesus is calling and it's so it's that

Matthew Starner:

again that great reminder of the new life we have that that

Matthew Starner:

sustains us through communion that we received there. And it's

Matthew Starner:

words like those that make me even say like, this is more

Matthew Starner:

powerful as a communion song because because those things are

Matthew Starner:

actually happening in communion versus an altar call where it's

Matthew Starner:

it's simply a rededication for a lot of folks. That's what an

Matthew Starner:

altar call is about committing your life to Christ again. And

Matthew Starner:

there's, there can be an awful lot of emphasis put on what you

Matthew Starner:

do in an altar call, you know, did you really dedicate your

Matthew Starner:

heart fully in those sorts of things? Where I love about

Matthew Starner:

communion is it's all about what Jesus is doing, and what he's

Matthew Starner:

done for us. And we just simply come and receive. And that's,

Matthew Starner:

that's why I think what makes that so powerful for me.

Adam VanderStelt:

Yeah, I love the language of regeneration in

Matthew Starner:

that Yes, yep.

Adam VanderStelt:

That, from the ashes from from absolutely

Adam VanderStelt:

nothing. Christ can bring new life. And he does that work of

Adam VanderStelt:

regeneration of restoration

Matthew Starner:

and makes me think of Ephesians two, you

Matthew Starner:

know, you were you were dead in your sentence, right? You were

Matthew Starner:

basically ash, you were basically dirt, and you've been

Matthew Starner:

made alive. Now, Christ, Christ has made you alive, through

Matthew Starner:

through faith in Him. And so you know, such a powerful image

Matthew Starner:

there that's painted.

Adam VanderStelt:

Yeah. Goes back to the chorus that we

Adam VanderStelt:

already went through. And then the bridge, which is, oh, what a

Adam VanderStelt:

savior, Isn't he wonderful? Sing, Hallelujah, Christ is

Adam VanderStelt:

risen. Bow down before him for his Lord of all, sing

Adam VanderStelt:

Hallelujah, Christ is risen. I just I think it's striking,

Adam VanderStelt:

because again, it's talking about Christ being risen. And I

Adam VanderStelt:

think it's important, especially when we look at the song. From a

Adam VanderStelt:

communion standpoint, it is in Christ's resurrection That we

Adam VanderStelt:

can receive new life. And so and so that's why we sing

Adam VanderStelt:

hallelujah. So it's a really theologically important

Adam VanderStelt:

statement there. I also, I noticed a posture change. And I

Adam VanderStelt:

know that's such a, like a worship, leader thing to say.

Adam VanderStelt:

But this, the language changes from calm, which is a walking to

Adam VanderStelt:

a bowing before him. So the posture has changed from

Adam VanderStelt:

receiving God's gifts to adoring God for who he is. And I think

Adam VanderStelt:

that that heart change happens, and I think I think it happens

Adam VanderStelt:

in an important way in communion.

Matthew Starner:

Sure, absolutely. And I really love

Matthew Starner:

that like a church like St. Matthew, where we're at, that

Matthew Starner:

celebrates this every week, as you know, part of our worship,

Matthew Starner:

it's a routine that we have in there. And of course, you know,

Matthew Starner:

it's it's easy for some folks to say, well, then it just becomes

Matthew Starner:

kind of mundane. But we are shaped by those things that we

Matthew Starner:

do regularly. You know, like at St. Matthew, and in both worship

Matthew Starner:

styles services, we recite the Lord's prayer together, we

Matthew Starner:

recite the Creed together. And as we do that, those are

Matthew Starner:

formative things for us. They shape us, they form us, they

Matthew Starner:

teach us about who we are and who's we are. And as we come

Matthew Starner:

forward for communion, of course, you can go through that

Matthew Starner:

with a, you know, a heart and a mind that's not set on what's

Matthew Starner:

happening that's, you know, thinking about lunch, or

Matthew Starner:

whatever's next or those sorts of things, but to do it, mindful

Matthew Starner:

of what's happening. I think it's hard for it to not shape

Matthew Starner:

that within you that this is a this is an act of receiving an

Matthew Starner:

act of what does it submission to God that we are we are

Matthew Starner:

receiving from him and acknowledging that we need

Matthew Starner:

something from him that we can't do ourselves. We need that

Matthew Starner:

forgiveness, we need that that strengthening of our faith. It

Matthew Starner:

reminds us that we're creatures that we're not creators. Right,

Adam VanderStelt:

right. Yeah. And that's why it's important

Adam VanderStelt:

that it says For he is Lord of all right, right? That that is

Adam VanderStelt:

the surrendering of our own power and giving it to our Lord

Adam VanderStelt:

and Savior.

Matthew Starner:

And then, you know, one of the things I like

Matthew Starner:

about this song too, is it has a little bit of a different

Matthew Starner:

structure. Okay, then then a lot of typical worship songs, in

Matthew Starner:

that it ends with like, kind of a half a verse on the lyrics

Matthew Starner:

that I'm looking at here. Verse three, even though it's really

Matthew Starner:

just two lines. And it ends with a bit of a different tone from

Matthew Starner:

the other verses that we've looked at. Barrier cross as you

Matthew Starner:

wait for the crown. Tell the world of the treasure you found.

Matthew Starner:

Mm hmm. And Adam, you were saying that you know that those

Matthew Starner:

words really spoke to you? Yeah, they

Adam VanderStelt:

do. because, again, I think it's another

Adam VanderStelt:

posture change, and it goes from receive. So we went from

Adam VanderStelt:

receiving a gift, buying to God an adoration to now we have a

Adam VanderStelt:

task at hand. Because of the new libraries we've received, we

Adam VanderStelt:

trust in God. That's what baring your cross means we trust in God

Adam VanderStelt:

through the troubles in the trials of our life. And we share

Adam VanderStelt:

our new life with other people. We share what we have found in

Adam VanderStelt:

Christ with other people. There's an interesting thing

Adam VanderStelt:

that happens in this as well. And you know, this as a, as a

Adam VanderStelt:

music person, there's a chord in here that's outside of the key,

Adam VanderStelt:

so that usually in a key in music, there's a set of chords

Adam VanderStelt:

that sounds really good together. This is the one

Adam VanderStelt:

instance in the song where it goes out of the key for a

Adam VanderStelt:

second. And I think it's, I hope it's significant. I think it's

Adam VanderStelt:

significant to me, because it's saying that there's something

Adam VanderStelt:

new that must be done, now that we've taken now that we've

Adam VanderStelt:

received this gift of new life.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah, and it's one of those, that's one of

Matthew Starner:

those things that I don't know that non musicians necessarily

Matthew Starner:

realize the significance of that, that, Oh,

Adam VanderStelt:

it's a total music born there.

Matthew Starner:

But but I'm sure as you're singing in

Matthew Starner:

church, and you kind of go, oh, that, that sounded different.

Matthew Starner:

You know, and maybe inside you feel a little bit of it is

Matthew Starner:

almost a little bit like discomfort, right? Because

Matthew Starner:

because we're coming to the end of the song, usually, musically,

Matthew Starner:

you're starting to leap to lead toward a landing in line in what

Matthew Starner:

you kind of consider home within the kingdom. And it's, it

Matthew Starner:

suddenly steps outside of home permitted, it's a comfortable

Matthew Starner:

space, and it's like, Ooh, this is this is pushing us somewhere.

Matthew Starner:

There's movement going on. And yeah, this song does take us on

Matthew Starner:

a journey, you know, as you as you really look at those lyrics.

Matthew Starner:

So I hope it's one that as we sing it in church, which it

Matthew Starner:

comes up occasionally, you know, if this is one that we sing all

Matthew Starner:

the time, but certainly one that is not unfamiliar to us. And I

Matthew Starner:

hope it's one that you listen to maybe sing these words a little

Matthew Starner:

bit more thoughtfully, as we do this and recognize as you come

Matthew Starner:

to the altar, what it is that you're receiving there from

Matthew Starner:

Jesus. So thanks, Adam. Thank you Matt with us and look

Matthew Starner:

forward to the next time we get to talk about some some things

Matthew Starner:

that we sing.

Matthew Starner:

Alright, welcome back again, joined once again by Pastor Rob

Matthew Starner:

appaled. And Adam Vander stout here, as we we want to start a

Matthew Starner:

new kind of recurring series here, doing just a little bit of

Matthew Starner:

a simple Bible study, we're sort of calling this like, Bibles

Matthew Starner:

only Bible study. So not necessarily the deep dive kind

Matthew Starner:

of stuff that you just got in the first segment, but maybe a

Matthew Starner:

little more of that everyday discipleship. Reading the Bible,

Matthew Starner:

we're going to read through the sermon amount on the Mount, we

Matthew Starner:

thought that'd be a great spot to start teachings of Jesus has

Matthew Starner:

his biggest recorded teaching that we have, and reading

Matthew Starner:

through it kind of without, like all the commentaries without all

Matthew Starner:

the resources and stuff, and just sort of reflecting on the

Matthew Starner:

Word of God. And so I want to really encourage you, if you're

Matthew Starner:

able to, as you're listening along, to open up your Bible

Matthew Starner:

with us, if you're listening to us in the car, or you're on the

Matthew Starner:

treadmill or something and can't do that, then certainly listen,

Matthew Starner:

lean in listening to what we're saying here. But let's start by

Matthew Starner:

reading reading the Sermon on the Mount, chunk by chunk. So

Matthew Starner:

we're just gonna look today at the Beatitudes, the first part

Matthew Starner:

of Matthew chapter five. And I'll go ahead and read that for

Matthew Starner:

us here for the first little bit here. So I'm just going to read

Matthew Starner:

through verse 12. And then we're going to just kind of kind of

Matthew Starner:

reflect back on what we've heard, and maybe unpack a little

Matthew Starner:

bit of it. But it begins at verse one, seeing the crowds. He

Matthew Starner:

Jesus went up on the mountain. And when he sat down, his

Matthew Starner:

disciples came to him and he opened his mouth and taught them

Matthew Starner:

saying, bless it are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the

Matthew Starner:

kingdom of heaven. Bless it are those who mourn, for they shall

Matthew Starner:

be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the

Matthew Starner:

earth. Bless it are the those who hunger and thirst for

Matthew Starner:

righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the

Matthew Starner:

merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the poor in

Matthew Starner:

spirit, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for

Matthew Starner:

they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are

Matthew Starner:

persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom

Matthew Starner:

of heaven. Bless that are you when others revile you and

Matthew Starner:

persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you

Matthew Starner:

falsely on my account? Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is

Matthew Starner:

great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were

Matthew Starner:

before you. So we'll end there. The end of verse 12. They're so

Matthew Starner:

familiar passage of Scripture, maybe for many folks, maybe what

Matthew Starner:

kind of stood out to you guys as we were listening to that again.

Rob Appold:

You know, one of the things that made out even before

Rob Appold:

the the words, I kind of wondered, was this an impromptu

Rob Appold:

idea? Or was this a planned? And I'm watching the chosen so Oh,

Rob Appold:

sure. And there it was. It chose Jesus kind of preparing a

Rob Appold:

sermon. And I guess I never thought of it that way. But

Rob Appold:

maybe he did plan this out and because I advised took it was a

Rob Appold:

here's a bunch of people.

Matthew Starner:

Let's tell him all the things because because,

Matthew Starner:

you know, the Sermon on the Mount covers, yes.

Rob Appold:

A lot of Yeah, it's three chapters, really the whole

Rob Appold:

thing.

Matthew Starner:

And so many different topics that are

Matthew Starner:

included in there. That but yeah, you know, I I've been

Matthew Starner:

watching the chosen to, and really appreciate the, the

Matthew Starner:

humanity they bring to these familiar stories and have not

Matthew Starner:

gotten to that part yet of the Beatitudes. But yeah, you know,

Matthew Starner:

I don't think it's, it's unreasonable to think of Jesus

Matthew Starner:

preparing a sermon. That's certainly a more human aspect to

Matthew Starner:

Jesus than maybe we we often think

Adam VanderStelt:

I, what stuck out to me, and it's never stuck

Adam VanderStelt:

out to me before. So I'm having these thoughts for the first

Adam VanderStelt:

time. It's the first three words, seeing the crowds. And

Adam VanderStelt:

the reason why it sticks out to me is it goes on to say, the

Adam VanderStelt:

poor in spirit, those who mourn, bless it are those who are meek,

Adam VanderStelt:

and who are hungry. For those who are persecuted. Those aren't

Adam VanderStelt:

like good things. And I think when he says seeing the crowds,

Adam VanderStelt:

Jesus is speaking to the human experience that he sees in front

Adam VanderStelt:

of them. And, and then he offers a promise to each of those

Adam VanderStelt:

people he sees in front of them. So it's very much like a

Adam VanderStelt:

speaking to the people where they're at is Christ meeting as

Adam VanderStelt:

a couple? Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so yeah, I you know, you

Adam VanderStelt:

read this sometimes, and you go, bless it are the poor in spirit

Adam VanderStelt:

for theirs the kingdom of heaven, like so? Does that mean,

Adam VanderStelt:

I got to be poor in spirit? I mean, that doesn't sound good to

Adam VanderStelt:

me. I'm just curious what you guys.

Rob Appold:

Yeah, I've always taken that to mean, when you

Rob Appold:

know, you're empty when you don't have Yeah, the you're not

Rob Appold:

the paragon of affection. You're, if everybody knew what

Rob Appold:

really rattled around in my heart, it would not be a good

Rob Appold:

thing. Yeah. And Jesus is saying, bless it are those who

Rob Appold:

are empty,

Matthew Starner:

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven when you

Matthew Starner:

and who and you know, can't deal with it on your own. Right, and

Matthew Starner:

who know that they're empty. Because we're we all are

Matthew Starner:

spiritually poor, right? I mean, none of us are good enough on

Matthew Starner:

our own in the eyes of God. But some of us are blind to that.

Matthew Starner:

And some of us are much more aware of that tuned into that.

Matthew Starner:

And, man, it's when we see that in ourselves that we recognize

Matthew Starner:

our need for God.

Rob Appold:

Right. And we don't have to hide behind the, as some

Rob Appold:

people say, the PhD, the pride, the phoniness, the hypocrisy, or

Rob Appold:

the despair of Well, I'm not what I'm supposed to be a better

Rob Appold:

hide it or Sure, pretended to deny that it's real, or any of

Rob Appold:

that stuff. It's, oh, I'm, I'm a sinner, I need help.

Adam VanderStelt:

It's a totally different message to in the

Adam VanderStelt:

context of the time, right? Because these, this, this crowd

Adam VanderStelt:

is probably used to a message that says, you're poor in

Adam VanderStelt:

spirit, get your act together, like start following the rules.

Adam VanderStelt:

And Jesus says, yours is the kingdom of heaven. What a

Adam VanderStelt:

subversion of like the cultural expectation,

Rob Appold:

right? And certainly the fair sake, model that was

Rob Appold:

that those they work in, they weren't looked up to. They were

Rob Appold:

seen as people who were agile.

Matthew Starner:

And just generally, those who were

Matthew Starner:

blessed in life, we're seem to be they must be spiritually

Matthew Starner:

better than the rest of us, because God has blessed them.

Matthew Starner:

Right? They've got that good stuff.

Rob Appold:

I think in Is it the Luke? Parallel? I mean, it's not

Rob Appold:

exactly but maybe Jesus preached another sermon. It is just

Rob Appold:

recorded, Blessed are the poor.

Matthew Starner:

Yeah. And it's, it's kind of funny as you just

Matthew Starner:

kind of scan through the list, especially in the way my Bible

Matthew Starner:

and the ESB, it's it is, as a list, you know, it's not just a

Matthew Starner:

paragraph. But as you kind of look through some of them,

Matthew Starner:

really, really do feel like that whole upside down Kingdom thing.

Matthew Starner:

So you know, pouring spirit, they get the kingdom of heaven,

Matthew Starner:

you skip down a couple to meek, they get the whole earth and

Matthew Starner:

then there's other ones that just like they make sense. So

Matthew Starner:

those who mourn, are going to be comforted. Those who hunger and

Matthew Starner:

thirst for righteousness, they're going to get it. Those

Matthew Starner:

who are merciful are going to be shown mercy. And so some of

Matthew Starner:

those you know, really seem like they just logically flow and

Matthew Starner:

other ones like that that whole Meek inheriting the earth just

Matthew Starner:

It feels like that whole backwards upside down way of the

Matthew Starner:

kingdom. And so you kind of wonder, like, you know, when

Matthew Starner:

Jesus is preparing this, is there a pattern he's setting up?

Matthew Starner:

In those? I mean, I don't necessarily see a pattern right

Matthew Starner:

away looking at it. Because the first one's kind of upside down.

Matthew Starner:

The second one makes sense. The third one's upside down. The

Matthew Starner:

fourth, the fifth to six, they all start to almost

Rob Appold:

like Proverbs in, in that sense? Yeah. Just being

Rob Appold:

hatest wisdom state. Yes. And, yeah,

Adam VanderStelt:

there's one here that says, Blessed are the

Adam VanderStelt:

pure in heart for they shall see God. I'm just reminded of one of

Adam VanderStelt:

the members of church I served that who was a person who had a

Adam VanderStelt:

Down syndrome, but when they would worship, they would open

Adam VanderStelt:

their hands up to the sky and look at the heavens the whole

Adam VanderStelt:

time. And I think that just speaks to, I think that divers

Rob Appold:

down syndrome.

Adam VanderStelt:

Yeah, yeah, they would just have his arms

Adam VanderStelt:

open, and his eyes towards the

Rob Appold:

eyes get convicted by

Adam VanderStelt:

Why can't I worship? Like, can I be that

Adam VanderStelt:

pure and

Rob Appold:

exalt? That's exactly what I can't believe

Rob Appold:

there's that pure of people or somebody who's just innocent,

Rob Appold:

you know? And I know, yeah, I'm not. And it's like, thank the

Rob Appold:

Lord that, you know, a child or disabled person, or just some, a

Rob Appold:

naive person. God bless him. And God helped me.

Adam VanderStelt:

The other one that's sticking out. Or the

Adam VanderStelt:

other word that sticks out to me is in verse 11, when Blessed are

Adam VanderStelt:

you when not if so blessed are you when others revile you and

Adam VanderStelt:

persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you

Adam VanderStelt:

falsely on my account? It's a given. It's coming. Like if you

Adam VanderStelt:

put your faith and it's gonna be strange and weird for the people

Adam VanderStelt:

around you in your you're gonna, you're gonna hear about it.

Rob Appold:

Yeah. I appreciate the because of me, not because

Rob Appold:

I'm a jerk, or because I'm a bad person, but it's carrying the

Rob Appold:

cross

Matthew Starner:

certainly begins to set up. You know,

Matthew Starner:

what's going to come later in the Sermon on the Mount? That

Matthew Starner:

it's a it's not a straight forward path following Jesus,

Matthew Starner:

you know, because there's, there's some of that some of the

Matthew Starner:

stuff that that's gonna make sense. You know, morning

Matthew Starner:

mourners will be comforted. There's other parts that aren't

Matthew Starner:

necessarily going to make sense to us. The meek inheriting the

Matthew Starner:

earth aspect or the the poor in spirit receiving the kingdom of

Matthew Starner:

heaven. That it's, it is a what there's an element of trust here

Matthew Starner:

to trusting that what when Jesus says these things, that these

Matthew Starner:

are all true, even though it doesn't always make sense to me,

Matthew Starner:

when I first hear this. And there's a lot of then what's

Matthew Starner:

going to come after this. Things That Jesus is going to say that

Matthew Starner:

is that are very much true, that are going to be convicting that

Matthew Starner:

are going to be challenging. Things that are maybe going to

Matthew Starner:

sound different to our ears, especially our ears today.

Matthew Starner:

versus what the world around us says, and we have to trust that

Matthew Starner:

Jesus tells us the truth.

Rob Appold:

Yeah, actually, that Jogja a message you gave on the

Rob Appold:

conclusion of the be out, or though sermon on the mount the

Rob Appold:

wise and the foolish builder. And I remember it because it was

Rob Appold:

just one of those little words, you said that stuck in my mind.

Rob Appold:

What is wisdom is hearing Jesus words and putting them into

Rob Appold:

practice? That's wisdom. Yep. And that would be exactly what

Rob Appold:

the Beatitudes are saying. Here this, do it.

Matthew Starner:

And really all of the sermon on the mount as

Matthew Starner:

well, yes, hear, hear this and do it. And, you know, for a

Matthew Starner:

great many of these followers, these crowds were there. That's

Matthew Starner:

a hard thing for them to do. So I think that might be a good,

Matthew Starner:

good place to stop this one here. And just

Rob Appold:

on that, not just hard. It's impossible without

Rob Appold:

God. Right? Yeah. And that's where faith obviously comes in.

Matthew Starner:

No, no, no, that's that's a great thing to

Matthew Starner:

add on there that really all of these things only make sense

Matthew Starner:

with God. Yep. And with Jesus, men are only possible with him.

Matthew Starner:

So great. Thanks for Thanks, guys for being a part of this

Matthew Starner:

conversation here and look forward to as we go through

Matthew Starner:

this, this series here, talking about other parts of the Sermon

Matthew Starner:

on the Mount. Thanks for listening in today on all these

Matthew Starner:

great conversations. We'd love to hear from you as we continue

Matthew Starner:

this journey together. If you could rate and review us on

Matthew Starner:

whatever platform you're listening to us on that would

Matthew Starner:

help out and help others find us. And if there's a topic you'd

Matthew Starner:

like us to talk about, let us know. You can email us at Media

Matthew Starner:

at St. Matthew gr.com. Thanks for listening and keep following

Matthew Starner:

Jesus together as we become everyday disciples.

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