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Woodstock Baptist Church

Secretary: Nick Archer
Services: 10.30am

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me' Luke 22.19 'Eucharist', 'Mass', 'The Lord's Supper', 'Communion' are a few of the titles given to the act of complying with Jesus' command 'do this' At the baptist church we hold a monthly service of communion. On these occasions we look back with gratitude to the actions of Jesus that atoned for our sin. We look forward to the time when Jesus returns in glory when all is renewed and we feast with him. We look inwards at our own life in consideration of how we have lived seeking the forgiveness of God for the wilful or ignorant transgressions, errors and omissions. We look upwards to where Jesus is seated interceding for us at the Father's right hand. We take the broken bread that is brought to us and eat as individuals who have accepted Jesus as Lord. This is a symbol of his body broken for each one of us. We drink together, a sign of our unity in Christ (for reasons of health we drink from individual cups as the drink is not wine) the drink represents Jesus' blood shed for us. At Woodstock we pause between these acts to offer healing prayer for those who request it. Such is our way; many others exist forming a great variety of practices and patterns of following Jesus command given on the night he was betrayed. I wonder though if there is not another understanding of these words, one that calls us to imitate the generosity of God, who loves to bless and I wonder if our failure to comply is a form of betrayal. This understanding says Jesus isn't laying down a religious ritual to be observed when he commands we 'do this in memory of him' rather it is a request that we let the generosity of Jesus be the hallmark of our Christian life. So 'this is my body given for you' is understood as 'I've given myself for you now you do this for others; you give yourselves in the service of others because it is the pattern of life you have been shown by me.' Understood in this way Christians are motivated to do as Jesus did. 'I am amongst you as one who serves' is Jesus' modus operandi and he does so extravagantly and asks us to do likewise “ as the Spirit enables. Another Gospel, John's, contains these words of Jesus spoken after he had taken the servants role of washing the disciples feet before the last supper. 'I have set you an example that you should do what I have done for you now you know these things you will be blessed if you do them'. What would the world look like and what blessings would flow if we who would be Christian remembered to do as Jesus did.