The Breaking of Bread Experience at Deerfoot Lodge #157

For the first time in my life, during a Sunday morning worship service, it was made clear to everyone present that only the members of churches within their specific Protestant denomination should participate in the Communion Service. I am not a member of the denomination.

On Sunday afternoon I explained to the pastor that, though not a member of a church within the denomination, Jesus Christ was my Savior, and I very much desired to live with Him as the Lord of my life. After an hour of conversation in which I was asked many questions, Bottom Line: No. He was satisfied with my answers to his questions, but he could not know how I lived out my faith. He said he was concerned that I might eat and drink in an unworthy manner. After this experience, I talked with two other pastors and a college president within the denomination. They were sorry I had this unfortunate experience.

At this point I am very glad I was denied participation in the Lord’s Supper because it has caused me to work through what I really do believe, and why. I have read the 50+ page document prepared by the above un-named denomination on who should be able to, and who should kept from, the fellowship of Breaking Bread together. I have carefully studied the passages that tell about Jesus’ last supper with His disciples: Matthew 26:20-29, Mark 14:17-24, Luke 22:15-22. John does not include an account. The Apostle Paul wrote In I Corinthians the most complete account of that evening. Before serving the elements at DL, I would read the words Jesus said to His disciples: “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” I Corinthians 23-25.

Paul wrote verse 23 to say he had not been present at he was not present at that Breaking of Bread service, but is sharing what he was told concerning it. The bold print is what Jesus said.

Looking back, I wish I would have also read the words Paul wrote after the words of Jesus: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself “ Corinthians 11: 26-29

The pastor who denied me communion was taking very seriously my participation in the Lord’s Supper. This is right to do. But, I do not feel the pastor could know my heart, In fact, I cannot fully understand my own heart. The prophet Jeremiah wrote (17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

If I am to live In Partnership With God, I absolutely must take the time to examine my own heart before I break bread together with my brothers in Christ. And when we are going to make it possible to have our children, or campers, break bread with us, we must be sure they know to examine themselves, to check out their own hearts.

Each of us must ask forgiveness of Jesus Christ for our sins, and, when possible, this may require that we ask forgiveness of other people. And we should be joyful in our hearts that we know our sins that separate us from God have been forgiven because Jesus Christ gave His life – He let His body be broken; He was willing to give His blood for us.

In the Old Testament perfect lambs were sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus Christ was the permanent lamb that gave His life for us. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord, What a Wonderful Savior Is He”.

God’s Provision – Rick Mackey’s Response #156

Sally Jo and I have just returned from a week in the Dominican Republic.  We went, at the request of our church, to see the mission work our church has supported, and to evaluate the wisdom of sending a mission team to further support the work.

While in the Santiago area, we took the opportunity to spend 24 hours with Rick, Chief Ron’s younger brother, and his wife, Becky.  Rick came to DL as a Woodsman, and twelve summers later, served as the Island Section Chief.   Rick was chosen to lead the Island because of his relationship with God, his ability to work with God’s people, and his excellent camping skills.  After graduating from Cedarville College in1991, he began serving as a youth pastor in Minnesota.  Rick desired to introduce “his” young people to the Lord’s work in another part of the world, and was soon leading the first of 6 short term mission trips to the mountainous area surrounding Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.  While on these trips, the young people built five small, cement block churches, and Rick was able to build relationships in each area. Twice Rick was asked to come down for preaching missions.

Rick, the pastor and the elders of the church in Minnesota began praying that the Lord would provide a mature Christian Dominican pastor for the little churches….nothing.  Over a period of eight months of prayerful struggle, all came to realize that Rick and Becky should go, and the church would support them in prayer and financially.  In 2006 Rick and Becky moved to the Dominican Republic, to work with the families Rick had come to know while the five small churches were being built.

Rick picked us up in Santiago and drove us to their home in Jarabacoa which is in a very beautiful mountainous area.  At our request, the Mackey’s let us take them out for lunch at an excellent restaurant.  Up on the mountain we entered a gated community of very beautiful homes.  Passing tennis courts, we continued up to the restaurant where we ate in warm sunshine on a deck overlooking the broad, green valley to the mountains beyond.  Excellent food – I enjoyed goat!

That night we saw another side of the Dominican Republic.  We drove to El Montana…a village of about 400 people.  Most of the women work as maids for the wealthy – $50 per week.  Few men are able to get steady jobs.  If they can get a job, they earn $12 per day.  The same families have lived in this town for generations of continuous poverty.  Their 2-3 room cement block houses are very close together, and their furnishing we would not take to Good Will. Education is ½ day, at best.  Because the maids must work on Sunday, church is on Tuesday night.  The process of building a body of believers in this context is slow…it is hard work.  The evening service was lead by a Dominican, with a Dominican woman joining him in leading the singing.  They used a small PA system set so loud it could be heard ½ way up the mountain!  There were 15 – 20 in the service, plus a small room with lots of children!  Becky translated when I spoke, and when the Dominican spoke, a 14 year old girl translated for Sally Jo and me.  Rick also spoke.   As we left in the darkness, we could see bare light bulbs hanging from the ceilings of their homes.

The next morning we drove 12 miles to Boma, an area of very small farms.  The last several miles were two lanes…one for each tire!  We drove through a flowing river, through a very muddy section, and through quiet beauty.   In Boma is one of Rick’s cement block churches.  Six people were waiting, including the man considered the leader of the area – he raises goats, 16 at a time.  This man was a Communist, working in the capital, until a youth group came to build the church…an incredible story.  As no formal education is available locally, one girl is picked up by her uncle on a motorcycle at 6:30 every morning, taken to the ½ day school, and then back to the village.  Her uncle spends over two hours each day so the girl can attend for four hours.  A family member did this for him!

And where are the young people from Minnesota Rick worked with to introduce them to the needs of the world?  Before I began to write, I called Rick to confirm some facts.  One of his young people had just left, after being with them for a week.  She is 26, in law school, and seriously considering foreign missions as her field of service.

When we live In Partnership With God, we often have no clue what God is preparing us to do, or how God will use us to prepare others to live In Partnership With God, and how they will be used of the Lord.

God provided for my training, for Rick’s training, and for those Rick is training.

God plans ahead!

Jesus is with me wherever I go….Jesus is with me….I know!