reclaiming holiness

by Pastor Mark Jordan

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.'” (Luke 20:14-16, NLT)

Today we wrap up our recent miniseries based on the ‘Reclaimed’ messages that have been our focus this month. Monday we looked at reclaiming God’s vision for our lives, and yesterday we explored reclaiming Christ’s miracle-working power in us. Today, we will close by reclaiming the proper placement of the table in our lives.

The table is for many, the centerpiece of family living. It is where meals are shared and decisions made. Unfortunately, it has lost its position in our world that flies by at breakneck speed as we opt for a bun on the run rushing hither and yon. On the heels of our Thanksgiving holiday, we need to reclaim what makes it so special…and not just for this holiday season, but every day of our lives.

Today’s Bible passage comes from the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ Last Supper (you can read the entire passage by clicking here). He gathered with His disciples for the Passover feast, which functions very similarly to our Thanksgiving celebration. It is a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for God’s presence, power, and provision in life…in the good times and tough times alike. As Jesus shared that meal, He transformed the meaning of it from a celebration of God’s work in the past to a forward-looking posture of living into God’s future. He taught that the original Passover was a delivery from slavery in Egypt, whereas now it is a delivery from slavery to sin and death. This new Passover was now to be known as The Great Thanksgiving, celebrating the salvation of our souls through the forgiveness of sin.

Jesus wants you to reclaim the table as central in your life. He wants the table where you gather with friends and family to nourish and support you. He also wants the Communion Table to be central in your worship so you are able to celebrate God’s provision, not just for today, but for eternity. As you aim to reclaim the table, there are two others things I want you to reclaim as we prepare for the glory of Christmas…

1. Reclaim tradition so you give yourself the regular and meaningful rhythm of pausing, reflecting, and giving thanks; allow the uniqueness of Thanksgiving remind you that you are to live and be different from the rest of the world.

2. Reclaim holiness, which is a fancy way to say that you need to be and stay different. Holiness is defined as set apart, which is how God wants you to live. As the world throws so many distractions and trappings your way, staying set apart is critical!

As we enter into the most wonderful time of the year, I pray you reclaim the timeless traditions that keep Christ at the center of your celebrations. Let Jesus’ call to reclaim the vision, reclaim the miracle, and reclaim holiness change you from the inside-out, so it may change your Thanksgiving into Christmas. This can change your life…I promise!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your presence in my life during this most special of times. I know I am set apart, and need to live that way. Forgive me the times I allow the distractions and trappings of our culture to cloud my vision, which need to rest in you this season and into eternity. I lift this prayer in the healing, helping, and holy name of Jesus. Amen.

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