In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.26                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

If you'd like to pursue this week's topic further, you can find a little more elaboration in Eugene Peterson's latest book Living the Resurrection (NavPress, 2006), and a lot more insight in Henri Nouwen's wonderful, and somewhat older book Life of the Beloved (Crossroad, 1992). Both are excellent.

Hope Happenings

Hope International University will host a very special event on Thursday, October 19, 2006. Jane Elliott will lead a 3-hour workshop (9.00am-12.00pm) entitled The Anatomy of Prejudice. Elliott is renowned for her famous Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes experiment with school children during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. See www.hiu.edu for ticket information.

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"Consider your calling, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world ... and chosen the weak things of the world ... and chosen the base and despised things of the world ...." (1 Corinthians 1.26-28)   

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Taken

The Lord's Supper not only reminds us of Christ. It reminds us of ourselves. While we meditate on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the wafer and the juice beckon us to also consider our own life experience.

In 1941, Dom Gregory Dix (an Anglican monk) identified and described what he called "the shape of the liturgy." He noted the four-part formula that appears in so many of the New Testament meal-stories involving Jesus, climaxing in the Passover meal (the Last Supper).

"He took some bread, and after blessing it He broke it; and gave it to them ...." (Mark 14.22)

These four terms crop up repeatedly in the Gospel stories: taken, blessed, broken, given. They describe Jesus feeding the 5000 (Matthew 14.19). They appear in the special meal of the Upper Room (Matthew 26.26). They resurface at the Emmaus meal (Luke 24.30). But, most profoundly, these verbs express the essence of the truly Christian journey.

Taken. Henri Nouwen considers the word "somewhat cold and brittle." He prefers the warmer word "chosen." Our first step towards becoming deep nourishment to others (whether family, friends, community, or further afield) involves the deep conviction that God has chosen us; not because we're mighty, noble, wise, strong, or important. Indeed, as Paul writes (above), God specifically calls and chooses men and women who model weakness, lowliness, foolishness, and ordinariness. He chooses us not for what we can do but for what He can do through us.

Just as Jesus used the simplest of elements to feed a crowd, so He continues to choose the simplest of people to touch the world.

Do we believe it?

It defies our expectation. Surely Christ can do most with the wealthy, educated, well-connected, and powerful. But in the simple meal of life, where God acts as host and prepares the table, He continues to choose the unexpected and least likely.

Others may not choose us. And in our self-deprecation we may not choose ourselves. But God takes us in His hand, and the journey into life's greatest liturgy begins.

A simple meal becomes a profound expression of our lives. He took the bread ... He chooses us. "Consider your calling ...."

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

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