by Terry J. Hallock

The Temptation to Change Tables
A Communion Sermon
T. J. Hallock
I Corinthians 10:1-22

We have been here so often and the scene never changes. I calculate that in my 56 years I have come to the Lord's table over 1,700 times and each time the menu and the words have been the same. "On the night He was betrayed Jesus took the bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, 'Take and eat, for this is my body broken for you.' In like manner also He took the cup and having blessed it He passed it among them saying, 'Take and drink you all of it, for this is the blood of the new covenant shed for the forgiveness of your sins.'"

This table and all that takes place around it are so unchanging that sometimes a desire may rise within us for something different, new and more exciting. Time after time we eat the same bread and drink the same cup. Yet when we go back out into the world we still find it beset by the same disease and death, poverty and pain, violence and war, injustice and cruelty. In light of all we face, and particularly when contrasted to the tables we see in the world around us, the Lord's table can seem so staid and ineffective. His table is plain and simple. The tables of the world are fancy and formal. The menu at His table remains frugal, just bread and wine. The tables of the world are overflowing with all the delicacy man can imagine. His table seems to be stuck in a dark rear corner of the world's dining hall where only the powerless are seated. The tables of the world are located at the brightly-lit front where the popular, powerful, and successful are gathered. Surrounded by the glitter of this world's idols it can be so tempting to change tables.

Scripture tells us Israel decided to do just that as she moved through the vast dessert of her exodus from Egypt to Canaan. For longer than she could remember God had given them a resin-like substance called "manna" to eat each day. Each morning it would appear on the ground of their ...

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