Blog In Audio:
Blessings to all my American friends on this Independence Day. I pray that the freedom of your independence stirs you to find your dependance upon Jesus Christ and the Body of Christ. It is in our freedom that we can choose by our freewill to seek the One and the place of true life. This is the testimony of true love.
I have spent this past week recording my book, The Seven Eyes of Grace – Empowered To Live, in audio form. It will soon be available as an audiobook. There is now an updated version of this book in Print and E-book form on Amazon. As I was recording this book, I felt to share a portion of that book today. We are in a season of becoming the people of God as the body of Christ who knows the life of the Spirit over the life of flesh.
Chapter 6.2 – The Sixth Eye of Grace; Pages 181, 182:
What is communion? Webster’s Dictionary defines communion as: “A sharing, an intimate relationship with deep understanding.” Communion is not merely the ceremonial act of breaking bread and drinking juice or wine. Huge debates, conflicts, judgments, and divisions have come about over the dispute of the details of the elements of the “communion table”. We must be missing something! Communion must be more than the elements of “bread” and the “fruit of the grape”. How can we share and come to an intimate relationship with deep understanding simply by taking the elements of the “communion table”? Maybe if we find the true elements of communion, we will automatically find the true “communion table”?
We are so easily distracted by things, events, and moments of tangible evidence. I believe we have deviated from the true reality of communion by viewing it as a thing we do. We have seen it as an “event”. We have left churches because the “event” wasn’t often enough; or the “event” was with the wrong “elements”. For the sake of a debate on what we have called “communion” we have chosen separation, isolation, and even division. Have we missed something here? We have had great theological debates over wine and juice. The improper choice of bread has caused some to depart from the sharing of their lives with the congregation of saints they thought was their home. I have seen this dozens of times in various congregations around the world.
I believe in many cases communion has become nothing less than a thing of judgment. It has become a “Nehushtan”. Do you recall the story? The children of Israel on their journey in the wilderness had become discouraged against God and against Moses (Num. 21:1-9). The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people as a result of their murmuring and complaint; those serpents bit them and many of the people died. The people came repentant to Moses, begging that they might be forgiven of their sin. God instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent of brass and lift it up on a pole among the people. All who looked to the bronze serpent on the pole were healed of the serpent bites. It was a wonderful picture of Jesus Christ being lifted up upon our cross for our deception and sin. When we look to Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sin, we are healed of the bite of sin in our lives. Moses’ obedience to craft the bronze serpent was a response to a God-given instruction. However, there remained a problem. The children of Israel kept that bronze serpent around for hundreds of years and even began to include it with the articles of worship upon their high place. The very God-given thing became an abomination of idolatry. It became a place of judgment, rather than a place of blessing. King Hezekiah, a righteous king of Judah, broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses made, for the people burned incense to it and called it Nehushtan (2 Kin. 18:4). The name Nehushtan means, “brass thing”. Brass is often symbolic of judgment in the Scriptures. The thing of blessing had become a thing of judgment, because the people chose to worship it. I believe the elements of communion have often become like that. We have chosen to worship the table upon which the elements of communion reside instead of worshipping the God in which everyone abides. We have worshipped the elements of communion and missed the true intimacy of communion. We have failed to honor the Body that contains the presence of the Bread of Christ and the life of the Spirit of Christ. I believe the true communion table is the coming together of the Body of Christ. I believe the true elements of the bread of that table are the members of the Body of Christ. I believe the true cup of the communion table is the life of the Spirit within each and every member of the Body of Christ. We eat that bread when we lay our lives down for the lives of one another. We drink that cup when we choose the life of the Spirit over the life of the flesh.
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
3210 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA 98225-1728