Sundays:  Pastor's Class 9:00 AM (Ephesians)
               Divine Liturgy 10:30 AM

Wednesdays: Pastor's Class 10:00 AM (Psalm 119 deep dive)
                    Divine Liturgy 7:00 PM



Worship Eat and Drink

April 8, 2023 Pastor: Rev. Dean Kavouras

resurrectionbChrist Lutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio
April 9, 2023
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras

Worship Eat and Drink

Moreover we are witnesses of all that he performed in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging him on a tree. But God raised him on the third day and allowed him to be seen not by all the people; but only by certain witnesses that God had chosen beforehand: we who ate with him, and drank with him after his resurrection from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the One Appointed by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. (Acts of the Apostles 10:39-42)

Christian Feasts are like nothing else in human experience – especially this “triumphant Holy Day!”

We are not simply remembering, commemorating, celebrating or “partying” as those who “verb the noun” like to say!

This is not just a religious version of the 4th of July, or the celebration of a birthday or wedding anniversary, this is what the culture does not get; but it is something a bit fuzzy for many Christians as well – and so this Easter let us make things perfectly clear. Today we factually participate in, and receive the benefits of, earth’s most seismic event: our Lord’s resurrection from the dead!

Today we worship like Moses and the Elders of Israel did in Exodus 24:11 who: Beheld God, and ate and drank at his feet on a pavement of sapphire stone as clear as heaven.

Today like the 2 Mary’s we fall down at Jesus’ feet and worship him! Not just venerate him as a good, mighty and powerful man, but worship him! Which is to say that we give to Jesus what belongs to God alone.

Worship! Liturgy! Because he is God! Because he is Lord! And if you think anything less about Jesus then seek Christian instruction, and you will see a Light that makes stone and steel translucent.

Today we are doing what the Twelve did with Jesus after his resurrection, they “ate with him and drank with him.”

Now if it is not obvious (to the little fundamentalist that resides in each of us) this reference is to the same Eucharist that we eat with Jesus today in this Holy House, at this Sacred Altar. Behold! He stands at the door and knocks and we, his faltering Bride, open the door, and he comes in, and sups with us, and we with him (Rev. 3:20) and now we are strong again!

This is the place where we kneel, which is a modified version of what the women did when they, “fell down on their faces before him and worshiped him.” We worship the same Lord in the same way – he who was handed over for our trespasses, and raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:25) -- He is Lord of all.

Yes, the faith that believes that all the promises of God are contained in “This Cup” – the remission of sins! Abundant Life! Full salvation. Our own resurrection from the dead. Joy in the midst of sorrow … To believe that … and to eat and drink his resurrected flesh and blood … that is the faith that justifies! That is God’s “mechanism” of bringing sinners into communion with Him who dwells in unapproachable Light.
- He is Lord of all.

Today we partake of what Moses, the Mary’s, the Twelve Apostles and a countless host arrayed in white partake of “at all times and in all places” a congregation more numerous than the stars of the sky, and the grains of sand on the sea shore.

Today we are graciously gathered by the Holy Spirit to worship Jesus! And to eat and drink with him after his Resurrection like the Apostles did for 40 days after his Resurrection as he: spoke to them about the Kingdom of God! And Oh! What their ears must have heard!

But there is more!

The stone-rolling-stone-sitting-angel sent them on their way to tell the whole world what had happened there; and on their way they met Jesus himself who further commanded:

“Go and tell my brothers!”

We, O Easter worshipers, are those brothers who hear the Easter gospel this day!

Peter received the same directive, "And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the One Appointed by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.”

Peter obeyed. The Mary’s obeyed. And we do too. We preach the same message today. Not by the ridiculous parade of “evangelism programs” that are supposed to save the church from extinction. Nor by the ludicrous live-stream broadcasts which every modern-day Jonah is certain will convert Nineveh!

Jesus did not say “Do that,” he said, “Do this!”

The very thing that we are doing now! “For as often as you eat this Bread, and drink the Cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s Death till he returns” to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Cor. 11:26)

Because Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead at which the whole created order: thundered, churned, boiled, crackled, shouted, and sang. Yes, it is the Sacrament of the resurrection, but it is also the Icon of the resurrection.

We all know the Icon of his death – the crucifix that is “lifted high” above us, that informs all that we do in this Holy House, and all that we are because of Him: free from sins, and as shiny bright as the Resurrection Angel’s garments.

We are bolts of lightening! Blindingly luminous before our God because of Jesus’ blood and righteousness; Jesus' cross and resurrection; and because of this Sacrament by which we become “one flesh” with him.

But if the cross is the Icon of the Lord’s death; the Icon of his tectonic resurrection is the indescribable ambrosia that we feast on here today! Where we take into ourselves the Lord’s resurrected flesh and blood. His indestructible life. And all the love and power of Jesus for sinners like us, to redeem us, and make us New Creations in Christ.

And that is what we are, Beloved, due to the Lord’s resurrection and this Eucharistic worship which transmits all its benefits to us. We are New Creations in Christ! The Old is passed away, the New is come. And there is nothing better than that!

And now: Since you have been raised up with Christ (by holy baptism) seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at God's right hand. Set your minds on the things above, not the things of the earth; for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ who is your life appears then you, also, will appear with him in resurrection glory. Amen.