In the last sermon in this series we covered the first part of a missionary journey embarked on by Paul and Barnabas and their companion John Mark as covered in Acts 13. This journey began in Seleucia, continued on to Salamis on the eastern end of the island of Cyprus and then to the far western Cyprian town of Paphos.   From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them to return to Jerusalem.  From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch.  They were well received in Pisidian Antioch which made the Jewish leadership jealous resulting in Paul and Barnabas being run out of town.  They then traveled to Iconium. 

       Acts 14:1-4: At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

       As was true in Pisidian Antioch, Paul and Barnabas preached to both Jews and Gentiles at the Jewish synagogue. It is recorded this was their usual practice.

The Synagogue:

       “Synagogue” is the transliteration of a Greek word that literally means a gathering of people.  A transliteration is where you match the letters of a word in one alphabet with the letters of a word in a different alphabet. In the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, this Greek word is used over 200 times to refer to a gathering of people.

       In the Greek Scriptures, the word came to be regularly used to designate the location where such gathering takes place. Buildings were Jews gathered on the Sabbath to worship came to be called synagogues.

       The synagogue as a place of assembly is believed to have first appeared at the time of the Babylonian captivity when Solomon’s temple was destroyed and the need arose for the Jewish captives to meet in community of worship.  While there is no direct mention of such gathering places in the OT, it is evident that the synagogue was an established institution in the first century.  The synagogue is mentioned dozens of times in the four Gospels and the book of Acts but is not mentioned in the letters of Paul or other epistles found in the NT narrative except for James 2:2 where this Greek word is rendered as meeting or assembly.

       In his book entitled Antiquities, first century Jewish historian Josephus writes that synagogues were used in a variety of ways including being used as schools, as a place to hold communal meals, as hostels, and even for political meetings.  This was all in addition to their use as a place of Sabbath worship were the Law and the Prophets were read and discussed.

       We saw in Acts 13 that Paul and Barnabas preached to both Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch. We see the same in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas are preaching to both Jews and Gentiles. Since the synagogue was a place Jews would gather on the Sabbath to read from the Hebrew Scriptures, it is evident the Gentiles present in the synagogue were Jewish proselytes. The English word proselyte is from the Greek word proselutos and basically means to embrace a belief one didn’t formally have. Pagan Gentiles would not have been welcome in the synagogue on the Sabbath or would they have been interested in being there. These Gentiles were converts to Judaism or in the process of becoming converts.

       It is instructive that in Acts 13 where it is said the people invited Paul and Barnabas to speak further to them, the Greek word rendered “people” is ethnos which is a reference to a Gentile.  Some translations render ethnos in this passage as “Gentiles.”

       Acts 13: 42-43: As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people (ethnos) invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

       The devout converts to Judaism were the Gentiles in the group. The English word convert in this passage is a rendering of the Greek proselutos. The Septuagint translators used proselutos some 80 times in their Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures to refer to non-Israelites who becomes part of the Israelite community.  This Greek word in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures is often rendered into English as “stranger” or “sojourner.”  

       Therefore, it should be apparent that when Paul and Barnabas are seen as bringing the Gospel message to Jews and to Gentiles in a synagogue, the Gentiles are proselytes to Judaism.  However, there apparently were two types of Gentile proselytes in view in NT times according to historical sources from that period.  There was the “proselyte of righteousness” who was a proselyte who became circumcised and required to keep the entire Law of Moses.

       Secondly, there was the “proselyte of the gate.”  This type of proselyte was not required to be circumcised nor keep the whole Mosaic Law.  This type of proselyte was only required to keep certain Mosaic regulations such as prohibition against  idolatry, blasphemy against God, homicide, unchastity, theft or plundering, rebellion against rulers and the eating of animal flesh with the blood still in the meat.  Some have conjectured that Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch were this type of proselyte.

       Both the “proselyte of righteousness” and the “proselyte of the gate” were allowed to join with the Jews in synagogue activities, including Sabbath worship.  In reading through the Book of Acts, it appears it was these kinds of Gentiles that Paul was largely ministering too and it was in Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath where these Gentiles could be found. We see throughout the Book of Acts Paul preaching on the Sabbath in Jewish synagogues.

       In Acts 9:20 it’s recorded that after Paul’s conversion he began to immediately preach in the synagogue at Damascus.  In Acts 13:4 we find Paul preaching in the synagogue at Salamis.  At Pisidian Antioch we see Paul preaching at the synagogue on the Sabbath to both Jews and Gentiles.  We see Paul doing the same at Iconium. In Acts 17 it is recorded that Paul on three different Sabbath days preached in a synagogue in Thessalonica to both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles are described here as “God-fearing Greeks.”

       The term God-fearing is found several time in the NT narrative in reference to Gentiles who are seen participating in synagogue worship. This appears to be another way of describing Gentiles who were proselytes of one kind or another.  These were Gentiles who acknowledged and worshiped the one true God.  They may have been formerly polytheistic pagans but at some point had come to believe in the same God the Jews believed in and participated with them in the worship of the God of Israel.

       After Paul left Thessalonica, he traveled to Berea and went to the Jewish synagogue there where it is recorded he preached to both Jews and Greeks. In Acts 17:16-17 it’s recorded that Paul, while in Athens, reasoned with both Jews and Greeks at the synagogue.  It is also recorded that he did the same in the marketplace with those who happened to be there.  This is the first account of Paul preaching somewhere outside a Jewish synagogue.

       Acts 17:17:  So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.

       After Paul left Athens, he went to Corinth where it is recorded that every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and Greeks.  From Athens, Paul traveled to Ephesus where it is recorded he went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. In Acts 19, it is recorded that Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly about the Kingdom of God for three months and then lectured at another location to both Jews and Greeks for an additional two years.

       So what are we to conclude from all this as to the ministry of Paul. As already pointed out, in Acts 13 we see Paul and Barnabas ministering to both Jews and Greeks on the Sabbath in the Jewish synagogue at Pisidian Antioch. It is recorded that the people (Gentiles) invited them to speak further to them on the next Sabbath.  It is further recorded that many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism (Gentile proselytes) followed Paul and Barnabas who urged them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

       In verse 45 of Acts 13, it is recorded that the Jews were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.  Here is how Paul and Barnabas answered.

       Acts 13:46-47: Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "`I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "

       Some see this as the official kickoff to Paul taking the Gospel message to the Gentiles. Some have seen this as Paul now focusing only on the Gentiles at the exclusion of the Jews. Neither perspective is correct.  As we have seen, Paul had already been preaching to both Jews and Gentiles in various Jewish synagogues throughout the region virtually from the time of his conversion.  As we have also seen, Paul appears to continue this practice throughout his ministry.

       While Paul may have now placed a greater focus on preaching to the Gentiles and establishing Gentile churches, the Book of Acts clearly shows Paul continued to preach to the Jews as well.  So when it is said Paul was an Apostle to the Gentiles, it does not exclude the Jews as it is clear he continued to preach Christ to the Jews as well.

       Furthermore, it should be noted that when it is said Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles it appears that the Gentiles he was an apostle too were largely proselytes of Judaism.  As we have observed, Paul is seen as preaching to Gentiles on the Sabbath in Jewish synagogues. These Gentiles would not have been in a synagogue on the Sabbath unless they were worshipers of the God of Israel.

       Therefore, it is apparent the Gentiles Paul preached too were already converted in that they had left the polytheism of the Roman and Greek world and had become followers of the one true God. Paul was now introducing them to the Christ event and showing them it was as significant for them as it was for the Jews.

       While there are Scriptural examples of Paul bringing the Gospel message to polytheistic pagan Gentiles, it appears that the Gentiles he initially preached too on the Sabbath in synagogues had already left paganism and were worshiping the one God.  It is also apparent that these Gentiles were in part or in whole following the Law of Moses, a matter that would become an issue as we will see in Acts 15.

The Church:

       We saw earlier that the word synagogue is the transliteration of a Greek word that literally means a gathering of people but also refers to the location where such gathering takes place.  We have seen Paul and Barnabas preaching in locations of such gatherings which are called synagogues.  We also see in the NT frequent use of the word “church” and its plural “churches” to refer to a gathering of Christians.  What does “church” mean?  From where did this word come from? 

       The word church appears to be an old English word pronounced "cirice" or "circe." It is derived from the Greek word  κυριακός (kuriakos). Kuriakos is from the Greek root word Kurios, which means "lord."  Greek Lexicons define kuriakos as something related to or belonging to the Lord.  Kuriakos appears only twice in the Greek Scriptures. In 1st Corinthians 11:20 it refers to the "Lord's (κυριακὸν) Supper" and in Revelation 1:10 it refers to the "Lord's (κυριακῇ) day."

       The word ekklesia (ek-klay-see'-ah) is the Greek word commonly rendered as “church” in the NT. In checking several Greek Lexicons, this Greek word has the meaning of assembly, gathering or meeting.  It is unclear and puzzling why translators of the Greek Scriptures into English choose to use the word "church" in translating the Greek word ekklesia.  The English word church is derived from the Greek word kuriakos and not ekklesia. To derive the English word "church" from the Greek ekklesia is a virtual mistranslation. Kuriakos does not mean assembly, gathering or meeting as does the word ekklesia.

       It’s commonly believed ekklesia means “called out ones.” The translators of the Septuagint frequently use this Greek word to describe the congregation or assembly of Israel.  Here is one example.  

       Deuteronomy 31:30: And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly (Greek ekklesia in Septuagint) of Israel:

       Stephen used the Greek word ekklesia to describe the congregation of Israel in the desert.

       Acts 7:37-38: This is that Moses who told the Israelites, `God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.' He was in the assembly (ekklesia) in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.

       The word ekklesia is found 115 times in the NT.  The first time ekklesia is seen in the NT is Matthew 16:18 where Jesus tells Simon he is a petros (a small stone) but upon Christ the petra (a huge rock) Jesus would build His "church" (ekklesia).   Obviously, Jesus was not talking about a physical building or specific location as such but a gathering, assembly or congregation of people who would follow Him. It is also evident that Jesus saw His ekklesia already developing in that He gave instruction as to the roll of the ekklesia in settling a dispute

       Matthew 18:15-20"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (ekklesia); and if he refuses to listen even to the church (ekklesia), treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

       That ekklesia is seen as an assembly, gathering or meeting of Christians is seen in the following examples.

       Acts 8:3: But Saul began to destroy the church (ekklesia). Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

       Acts 9:31: Then the church (ekklesia) throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

       Acts 12:1: It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church (ekklesia), intending to persecute them.

       Romans 16:4-5: They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches (ekklesia) of the Gentiles are grateful to them.  Greet also the church (ekklesia) that meets at their house.

       As can be seen by the context of these passages, ekklesia is referring to Christians as a group or body of people and not to a specific location where they may have gathered to worship.

       It is evident, however, Christians did meet in specific locations and as time went on the locations where they met became known as "churches" much like the word synagogue came to refer to the location were gatherings of Jews took place.  Here are some examples.

       Acts 14:23: Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church (ekklesia) and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

       Acts 15:41: He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (ekklesia).      

       Romans 16:16: Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches (ekklesia) of Christ send greetings.

       While the meaning of ekklesia in these passages still means assembly, gathering or meeting, it is apparent that specific gatherings of Christians are being identified as meeting in specific locations.  In some cases the location was simply somebody’s house.  In other cases it may have been a rented building. As already mentioned, the Greek ekklesia appears 115 times in the NT.  About half the time it is used to identify Christians in general and about half the time it is used to identify a specific group of Christians meeting together at a particular location. 

       As already mentioned, the Greek ekklesia has come to be understood as meaning “called out ones.”  However, this meaning is not inherent in the Greek word itself.  The Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich Greek lexicon which is considered the Gold Standard of Greek Lexicons, does not associate such meaning with ekklesia. Ekklesia is simply defined in this Lexicon as an assembly, gathering or meeting of people for a variety of purposes and provides many examples from early Greek literature of it being used in this manner. It also provides a number of examples from the NT Scriptures of ekklesia being used in this manner but nowhere indicates it means “called out ones” in some religious sense. 

       For example, in Acts 19 we see ekklesia used to describe the mob that gathered to oppose Apostle Paul. 

       Acts 19: 30-32:  Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. The assembly (ekklesia) was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there

       So how did the Greek ekklesia come to be defined as “called out ones” and how did the moniker “called out ones” come to be defined as being called out by God from the world at large for special purpose which is how “called out ones” is usually defined.

       Ekklesia is derived from the Greek verb ek-kaleo which means “to call forth” This etymological meaning came to be associated with NT passages which speak of our being called by God.  Etymology is the study of the origin and history of words.

       However, as Greek scholars point out, ek-kaleo means nothing more than to call forth people to assemble which is what ekklesia means. So, as one scholar I read stated, there is no lexical reason to define ekklesia as meaning to be called out from a larger group.  It simple means an assembly of people that voluntarily get together for any variety of purposes. The word has no specific religious connotations. 

       So while there certainly are Scriptural passages that speak of being called by God and being called out of this world to serve God, it is probably more accurate to say such calling results in our becoming part of the ekklesia and not that the calling itself is the ekklesia

       While ekklesia is rendered as church in most translations of the NT and church has become associated with buildings were Christians assemble, the building is not the church.  The church (ekklesia) is the assembly of Christians who come together in community of worship. When Paul spoke of churches in his various letters, he was referring to various groups of Christians in various locations and not to buildings where such groups met. Earlier we saw in Romans 16 Paul asking the Roman Christians to greet the church (ekklesia) that meets at the house of Priscilla and Aquila.  The church was the assembly of Christians who met at the house of Priscilla and Aquila.  Their house wasn’t the church.

The NT ekklesia of Christ:

       While the Greek word ekklesia is commonly used to describe an assembly or gathering of people for any variety of purposes, in the NT it is primarily used to identify people who believe in and follow Christ. Thus, ekklesia is seen as the body of Christ. 

       Ephesians 1:22-23: And God placed all things under his (Jesus') feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church (ekklesia), which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

       Ephesians 5:23: For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church (ekklesia), his body, of which he is the Savior.

       Colossians 1:24: Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church (ekklesia).      

       As already discussed, the Greek word ekklesia means assembly, gathering or meeting. It is commonly used to identify those assembled together for a particular reason. When NT writers use this word, it is primarily used to identify those who assemble as followers of Christ Jesus. The reason for followers of Jesus assembling/gathering/meeting together (ekklesia) was to associate with those who became followers of Jesus.  Paul makes it evident in the introduction to his first letter to the Corinthian brethren that the ekklesia are those who have assembled together as followers of Christ Jesus.

       1st Corinthians 1:2: To the church (ekklesia) of God in Corinth, to those sanctified (Greek: hēgiasmenois) in Christ Jesus and called to be holy (Greek: hagios), together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours:

       Here the ekklesia is identified as those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy. The Greek word translated "sanctified" is found hundreds of times throughout the NT in various tenses and has the general meaning of being separated for special use and purpose.

       The phrase “to be,” as in "to be holy," is not in the Greek manuscripts. This passage can be read as, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called holy.” Many translators render the Greek word hagios in this passage as "saints" as they do throughout the NT.

         In Greek literature outside the NT narrative, hagios was used to describe things devoted to and set apart for the gods.  Hagios is used hundreds of times throughout the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) to identify persons, places and things as holy to God. When you see how the word holy appears in context in the numerous Scriptures where this word is found, it gives the strong impression of something or someone that is separate from the ordinary or something dedicated to such separation.

         Paul appears to define the church (ekklesia) as people who are separated from the ordinary for special use and purpose in Christ Jesus. He appears to see the church as consisting of all those who call on the name of Jesus.  Acknowledging Jesus and responding to what He taught and did appear to be the basic definition of ekklesia as it pertains to Christians.  Throughout the NT, being part of the ekklesia of Christ is seen as living a lifestyle that reflects the moral and ethical standards taught by Jesus and expanded upon by Paul and others. It is adherence to these standards that appear to define what it means to be sanctified and holy. 

        Some believe that in order to be considered a member of the ekklesia (church), one must attain to and demonstrate a certain level of good works. The various gifts of the Spirit listed in 1st Corinthians 12 and various good deeds performed by the church as recorded throughout the NT narrative are seen as defining membership in the church. However, to define membership in the church in this manner becomes very arbitrary.  The gifts of the Spirit and other deeds performed by members of the Christian ekklesia are not shared equally among believers but are diverse in manifestation. Who is to decide what level of good deeds makes one a member of the ekklesia or disallows such membership?

       For example, if the Christian ekklesia is to be defined by members doing A, B, C, D and E, what if some only do B and D or A and E. Are they not considered members of the Christian ekklesia because they are not doing A, B, C, D and E? 

       The works of the ekklesia are quit diverse as seen by the many different things the church has done historically and is doing at present. Many works performed by the church are also performed by other organizations that are not the church. For example, providing for the poor is seen in Scripture as a work of the church.  Such work is also done by non- Christian groups as well.

       Good works are performed by many groups (ekklesia's) that would not be considered groups sanctified in Christ Jesus and called holy.  Therefore, seeing good works as identifying and defining the NT ekklesia becomes problematic. It is not good works but being sanctified in Christ Jesus and called holy that is the common denominator seen in those who make up the ekklesia seen in the NT. 

       While those who make up the NT ekklesia will manifest various gifts of the Spirit and other behaviors associated with being part of the NT ekklesia, such behaviors are works of the ekklesia and not the ekklesia itself. What defines the NT ekklesia is not the works it performs but what those works are based on. What they are based on is Christ. Belief in the Christ event and all it represents is what defines and identifies the NT ekklesia as opposed to any other ekklesia.

       This is no different than a Moslem who does good works. Such a person is part of the ekklesia called Islam. This Moslem's good works doesn't define his being a Moslem. It is allegiance to Mohammad that defines him as being a Moslem. 

       Should doctrinal agreement and/or organizational conformity define the Christian ekklesia?  As we know, there are multiple dozens of Christian assemblies that have differing organizational structures and different understandings as to doctrinal/theological matters. Membership in the Christian ekklesia cannot be based on adherence to a particular doctrinal understanding, organizational structure, a certain level of manifestation of gifts of the spirit, level of good works or even belonging or not belonging to and attending a local ekklesia of Christians. 

       When all is said and done, the only common denominator that identifies the Christian ekklesia is recognition of salvation though the death and resurrection of Jesus and commitment to Jesus' teachings. You can't really be considered "sanctified in Christ Jesus and called holy” without belief in salvation through His death and resurrection and adhering to what Jesus taught as to how we are to live our lives. This is what defines being a part of the ekklesia of Christ.

       To use agreement on doctrinal issues, organizational structure, types of  works performed and other such criteria to define membership in the Christian ekklesia would require universal agreement as to these matters. This has not ever been the case in the history of the church.

       The only constant that gives definition to the NT ekklesia is acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord and Savior and a commitment to live by the law of love that he taught.  It is Jesus who is the rock (petra) upon which the church is built and it is belief in Jesus and all He represents that defines membership in His ekklesia.

       Matthew 16:18: And I tell you that you are Peter (Greek petros, a small stone), and on this rock (Greek petra, a huge rock) I will build my church (ekklesia), and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Called Out:

       While the perspective of being called out of the world is found in Scripture, this perspective is sometimes misunderstood in that some think we should withdraw from interacting with the people of the world and become religious separatists. Jesus taught just the opposite.  Jesus taught we should come out of the sinfulness of the world while at the same time be involved in the world as beacons of righteousness and extensions of Christ.

       John 17:15-18:  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

       We, as disciples of Christ, are to be a light unto the world.  Jesus made this clear in the Sermon on the Mount when he spoke of being the light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.  Some weeks ago when we did our hymn sing service we sang “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”  That is our calling, to be a light of righteousness to the world.  Our calling is to be Christ with skin on.


       When Ross Jutsum was here at the end of October he sang a song he wrote back in 2000 entitled “We Are Your Body.”  The first verse and chorus is as follows:

       "Christ has no body on earth but yours.  No hands, no feet on this earth but yours. Yours are the eyes that His love runs through, with your lips He is showing compassion. We are Your hands, we are Your feet.  We are Your temple Lord.  We are Your body, we’re bought with a price, a living sacrifice, We are Your temple Lord.  We are Your body."

       Today we will once again partake of the bread and wine representing the broken body and shed blood of Jesus.  While the taking of the bread and wine commemorates the death of Christ and His facilitation or our salvation from the consequences of sin, it should also remind us that we have an obligation to be responsive to what Jesus taught and be that shinning light of righteousness in a world darkened by a massive amount of sin. 

       Romans 12: 1-2:  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

       Once a week we come together in a collective act of worship.  However, worship is a daily activity in that we worship God by living the way of life Jesus taught and what is revealed in the Scriptures in general.  We worship God by being living sacrifices in that we sacrifice time, effort and resources to serve those around us. We serve God by being the hands and feet of Christ as we go about our daily routine. 

       So as we partake of the bread and wine, let’s reflect not only on what this symbolizes as to our salvation but what it means as to our daily behavior before God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and our fellow man.