May 27

Sunday was a great, great day. We had a wonderful church-wide picnic at the park. There was lots of good picnic food, the kids had fun playing at the playground, and everyone enjoyed a great time of fellowship. We had a very encouraging time of worship together, and I want to especially thank Tom Vance for leading some songs that were a great blessing to all. I appreciate everyone who helped make that enjoyable time happen.

The highlight of the day was the response of John and Kathy Palmer, and especially Kathy’s baptism. Kathy is one of the best examples I know of someone with a pure and genuine heart who has felt for quite some time that God was leading her to be closer to Him. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Remember our Shepherd Groups will meet through the summer, but at least in June the Shepherd Group Sundays will be on the second and fourth Sundays, June 10th and 24th. We will be honoring our high school graduates on Sunday June 3rd with a luncheon in their honor. Please sign up for that and come celebrate these fine young people and their families.

As our nation celebrates Memorial Day this weekend and remembers those who have served so well and sacrificed so much, I want to spend our sermon time on the memorial that Jesus established shortly before His own death. Though the church does not celebrate the Passover as Jesus and His disciples were doing, the Lord’s Supper established that night and then celebrated in the life of the church each Lord’s Day has similar emphasis. Like the Jews did during the Passover feast, Christians during the Lord’s Supper:

  • Look up—in thanksgiving to God as we consider our own Salvation History;
  • Look back— the term anamnesis (remembrance/memory) is used in Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor. 11:24-25 and indicates a dynamic remembering and re-experiencing of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ;
  • Look around—as we consider one another and the relationship we have as the family of God;
  • Look ahead—anticipating with great joy that the God who has delivered his people throughout history will come again and take us to be with him forever.

The Lord’s Supper therefore is something we do, not watch. Gathering around the Table with our family and sharing in this special meal together is a time for serious reflection on the extreme price paid for our salvation.

However, like the Passover, it is not a time for somber mourning. “Contemplative joy” is what is called for, for we are being unfaithful to the Passover tradition, the family meal aspect, and especially the resurrection and promised return of Jesus, if we fail to acknowledge and take hold of the assuring call for hope and celebration brought about by the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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