Consubstantiation: participation

The Lutheran concept of consubstantiation is that the presence of Christ is, "in with and under" the elements in the Lord's supper, communion or the Eucharist. The Catholic belief called transubstantiation is that the elements are transformed into Christ's blood and body. On the other side, broadly speaking, protestants believe that the elements memorialize Jesus body and blood, and the ritual brings to memory what Christ did. I personally believe that the elements stay natural but can become anointed. I believe that God's presence can come on and around the the communion table.

"Is not the cup of thanksgiving a participation in the blood of Christ?
Is not the bread we break a participation in the body of Christ?" 1 Corinthians 10:16

The word participation could also be translated communion and also means intimate fellowship.

When we participate in the Lord's supper we are communing with Christ's broken body and shed blood. When you get close to God all sorts of good things can happen.

Song for Madeline

Paul Viera has written this song for Madeleine McCann, who went missing on May 3.
Please pray to God that Madeleine is found and returned to her parents safely.

Tithing: Biblical but not Christian

I think we're called to give all we can, save what we can, live simply with frugality, but also enjoy all the things that God gives us or allows us to get through the abundance that God flows into our lives.

Tithing is like paying a tax. It's impersonal. You write your check to your church or ministry you support and that's it. When you are a giver, as a life-style; your hand, your wallet, your checkbook, your pantry, your closet, and all your stuff are untethered. Your possessions don't possess you.

Can you both tithe (10%) and give? Yes. Can you give and not tithe? Yes. What if you give less than 10% of your income, is that ok? Yes.

be ready in season and out of season

The context of the above text is Paul's admonition to Timothy to "preach the word". He is to preach in season and out of season. Not sometimes but all the time, not just when he feels great and has a fresh message but always. The application is that ministers are always "on-duty". Ministers are ministers. It is who they are, who you are if you are a minister. Ministry is a life, not a job or a title. Minister describes you if you are one. Another word for ministry is service.

Serving is an all-the-time lifestyle. Serving is not something you go and do for a time, and then revert back to a non-serving lifestyle. If you are a servant, you serve.... all the time. You don't just serve when it makes you look good, like serving by speaking to a group or being on a ministry team, but it is a way of life. It's not about going to church to serve or to be served or watch people serve, but rather; if you are a Christian, you are the church everywhere you go and, you are called to serve. The phrase "Church service" has become an oxymoron in our Western culture. You don't go to church, just like a married person does not go to marriage. They're married or they aren't. When they aren't with their spouse or in their home, they're still married. If they only act married when they are with their spouse or in their home, we would say that it's not a very good marriage. Service is something that you give as awell as recieve. A real church service would mean that everyone that is in the church is serving.

The essence of being a Christ follower is to serve. God loved the world so much that He served by sending Jesus to serve and his followers serve as well. If you say you're a follower of Jesus but don't serve as a life-style, something is wrong.

Thank you for your service.
It's all about the serve.
Service is everything.
Serve, baby, serve.
And you know what Bob Dylan said.

When it seems hopeless

Today, I'm thinking about situations where change seems impossible unless that one key comes along that can open closed doors. It seems to me that God specializes in solving so-called impossible situations, things that seem hopeless.

I'm reflecting on this text: Romans 4:18, that says, "against all hope, in hope Abraham believed, and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'so shall your offspring be.'"

Abraham didn't make it happen. The one who promised him did it. He put his hope in the one who promised, in the word of the one who spoke.

Christian's indifference

I was reading an article about the growth of the unchurched population in the U.S. by George Barna, where he makes mention of the book, Jim and Casper Go to Church, where two guys check out a dozen heavy hitter churches across the country and share their experiences. Barna says,
"Many of the insights drawn from the experiences of "Jim and Casper" parallel the findings of Barna Group studies among the unchurched. Some of the critical discoveries were the relative indifference of most churched Christians to unchurched people; the overt emphasis upon a personal rather than communal faith journey; the tendency of congregations to perform rituals and exercise talents rather than invite and experience the presence of God; the absence of a compelling call to action given to those who attend; and the failure to listen to dissident voices and spiritual guidance to dig deeper in one’s faith."