January 3, 2021
Standalone: January 3, 2021Pastor Leroy Wiggins, Pastor Jerry Gillis, Pastor Jonathan Drake, Pastor Edwin Perez - January 3, 2021
Community Group Study Notes
1. Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching.
2. What was one thing that God was showing you through this teaching on prayer & fasting?
3. What “soul habits” can you build into your life as we begin this new year, specifically as it pertains to prayer and fasting?
4. Take time to pray as a group together - pray for the person on your right until the entire group has been prayed for specifically and by name.
Jerry Gillis: Hey, good morning everyone and happy new year to you. I know that we're all online on this day. And so I wanna thank you for joining us this day as we begin this new year here on January 3rd in really just kind of seeking the Lord together. So thank you so much for joining us this day. I'm over in the East Worship Center at our Crosspoint campus. Because we have a number of our pastors that are in the worship center on our Crosspoint campus. And so I'm over here this morning to just introduce to you what we're going to be doing on this day. Our last few years at The Chapel, at the beginning of the year, we've really highlighted either prayer specifically or even prayer and fasting. And we're doing the same thing this year. Now there's a reason for that. And the reason is, is that we want to establish a corporate humility before God, that kind of corporately as a body we are seeking God's face, we are humbling ourselves and we are praying. This is what we wanna be able to do to launch into 2021. Now you're going to hear some teaching over the next little while, not so much from me, I'm really introducing what's happening today. But some of our other pastors are going to teach a little bit on both prayer specifically and fasting. But this isn't going to be a scenario where you just hear teaching. We're not only going to teach but we're gonna have an opportunity to engage. This is going to involve you actually praying. You spending time with the Lord so that you can join brothers and sisters together in the body of Christ on this morning. And that together we can humble ourselves before God and seek His face. Now when I use the term humble ourselves, I'm using that term because of God's instruction around prayer and fasting. It's pretty specific. The first time that we actually see this introduced to the people of God is in the Book of Leviticus. Now it's obvious that Moses spent time on the mountain and he was before the Lord, in the Lord's presence for 40 days, and you know, that was, we understand that, right? And he was there without food. But the first time we really run into instruction as the people of God about what fasting should be like and be a part of is when we read in the Book of Leviticus how God was revealing to Moses the nature of the feast days. And specifically at the Day of Atonement, he says this in Leviticus 23. "The 10th day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. "Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves "and present a food offering to the Lord. "Do not do any work on that day "because it is the Day of Atonement. "When atonement is made for you before the Lord your God. "Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people." And then verse 32 goes on to say, "It is a day of Sabbath rest for you "and you must deny yourselves "from the evening of the ninth day of the month "until the following evening, you are to observe your Sabbath." So this was actually introducing the Day of Atonement and in-bedded in that were these phrases around, deny yourselves. Now depending on the translation that you read, some translations actually use the term, fast instead of the term, deny yourselves. Now the reason is because fasting became so synonymous with what happened on the Day of Atonement that this idea of deny yourselves became closely related to the idea of fasting. Now, the Hebrew word, phrase there, it's translated deny themselves could also be translated, afflict your soul or humble your soul. It's not a word in the Hebrew language or a phrase that was specific to not engaging with food. And so fasting wasn't actually the command here but what it became was an outcome of the command. In other words, God didn't command fasting of the people but because they were commanded to deny themselves, to afflict their souls, to humble their souls that they pushed away from the table and did not eat on that day and sought after the Lord. So fasting wasn't the command, it was the outcome of the command. Now really the only kind of super clear command that we have in the old Testament, where God actually, from God, tells the people of God to fast is found in the book of Joel. Now, what you need to understand is that when Joel is writing, Israel is in significant crisis. They are experiencing a plague. And that plague, this happened to be a plague of locusts. That plague of locusts has consumed most of the land. And it was actually not only a real thing that happened but it was also foreshadowing enemy attacks that would ultimately come and plague Israel as well. So what God did and Joel did specifically with God's authority, was he called the nation to a national day of fasting and repentance and prayer. Here's what it says in Joel chapter 1:13 and 14; "Put on sack cloth you priests and mourn, "wail you who minister before the altar. "Come spend the night in sack cloth "you who minister before my God "for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld "from the house of your God. "Declare a Holy fast, call a sacred assembly, "summon the elders and all who live in the land "to the house of the Lord, your God, "and cry out to the Lord." And then in chapter 2: verses 12 and 13; "Even now declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart "with fasting and weeping and mourning. "Rend your heart or tear your heart "and not your garments." You see this was a national command that was given to Israel and they were called to a place of both fasting and prayer and repentance because of a crisis that they had experienced. Now, outside of these, in the old Testament, you still see a number of instances of fasting that occur in the Old Testament. There's a number of different examples of that but usually they are kind of aimed in the direction of either sadness, either sadness over sin or sadness over heartbreak, or it's about crisis, like we see here in the book of Joel or it's about a need for intervention from God. For instance, when David lost the son that died, right? The very young son that died, David fasted for a period of time, because he was sad, not only over the death of his child but what led to that, ultimately David's sin. And then Esther, when she was approaching the King, she was fasting because she knew that to approach the King, if you did so in a manner that it didn't please the King, you could die. And so there was a need for the intervention of God. And that's why she was taking the time to fast there. Or the Ninevites when Jonah came and preached to them and they responded and they wept and they fasted and they put on ashes, and why? Because they were sad over their sin. And they were repenting as a result of that. Now in the new Testament, we also have a number of different examples of where fasting and prayer are pulled together. Jesus, when he is in the wilderness being tempted by the enemy for 40 days and 40 nights because he is the new and better Moses. Or when Saul who would eventually become Paul was blinded when he came face to face with Jesus and there for a period of a few days, Saul was fasting, as we read about it in Acts chapter nine, maybe a brokenness over his own sin, trying to figure out what was going on. We read about it with the church at Antioch in Acts chapter 13 when they're commissioning believers to be sent out from them and apostles to be sent out from them. We read about it in Acts chapter 14 when Paul and his associates are praying and fasting before the selection of elders that occurred. But while we have all of those examples, what we don't have specifically is a command. Maybe an assumption, Jesus certainly said when you fast but not a command. But what it was is more or less an outcome of a command; the command to pray, the command to seek the face of God. And again, in the New Testament, it could be like in the Old Testament that fasting was related potentially to sadness over sin or to crisis or to simply the need to seek God, intervention from God. Now, as we stand here in 2021, it feels better to say that than it does 2020. You and I both know that when we say the words 2020, that there is a historical memory that literally will go down in history as a year that we all kind of look back on and feel a sense of dread, maybe darkness, maybe exasperation. 2020 was one of the longest and most difficult and darkest years for so many people, not only in our nation, but in the world. And now we kind of have this sense of there's a reality of 2021, and it feels better to say it but we understand that we feel this reality with 2021 and still sense that we're in a bit of the darkness but we have these tenders of hope that there's some light at the end of this really long dark tunnel. But I think for some of us, we still have a little bit of that skepticism because we feel like maybe 2021 is really just 2020 with a fake ID. You know what I mean? That's a possibility for sure in terms of the way that we feel. But what we need this year, in 2021, is not just temporary relief or hope that gets us a little better circumstances. We all want better circumstances. We're praying for those. But that's not our greatest need. What we need is not a what, it's a who. We need God. And that's what we want to establish at the very beginning of this year. And we need to repent if we've acted like we don't need God, that we need everything else, but God. And so we wanna start this year, declaring our dependence on God and we wanna do that together. We wanna humble ourselves. We wanna seek his face. We wanna repent. We wanna pray. We wanna fast as God leads. We wanna grow. We want to recognize and establish that Jesus himself, he is our hope. So what I hope that you'll do is that you'll join me and you'll join this body this month in praying and in fasting. We're going to be beginning that time of prayer here in our worship gathering today, and we're gonna be doing that corporately. But you're gonna hear a little bit later on in this service, how you can engage, how you can sign up for times of prayer, sign up to be able to be fasting as God leads, and as you have clearance from a doctor, if you need that. Because we wanna make sure that we are seeking his face, that we're turning our attention toward him, that we're establishing that Jesus is our only hope and that our eyes are fixed on him. So will you join us as we do that here, not only on this day, but as we do that for this month of January.
Edwin Perez: So God said this to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14; "If my people who are called by my name "will humble themselves and pray "and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways "then I will hear from heaven "and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." See, at this point, this was history for the Jews as they were reading this as there was a Jewish remnant that had returned to Jerusalem after their exile, and they had reconstructed the temple, they had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem which you could read about in Ezra and Nehemiah. And at this point, the chronicler is reminding the people of God about the priority of prayer. This is a probably a stark reminder at this point, as those reading this they had drifted far from the heart posture of this verse as there were other things and other gods and other priorities that had caused this Jewish remnant to not experience the blessing of pursuing God. And they were reading this being reminded of these truths. And I hope for all of us today, that we would be reminded of just how important pursuing God is through prayer. Certainly of course, on an individual level but also as a corporate level, on a corporate level, right? If my people, people of God, all of us, if we would seek his face, humble ourselves and pray, see I think that will make all the difference. And even for our time, for my portion here, I wanted to give us three guiding principles that can help us write from this verse, that can help us pray not only for today but also hopefully for the future as well. Here's the first principle: That genuine prayer comes from a place of humility. See genuine prayer, it comes from a place of humility. Listen to our verse. "If my people who are called by my name "will humble themselves and pray." See, our praying should come from a place of humility, independence on God as to acknowledge that we are pursuing a God who created everything, who set the universe in its motion, who has formed our very lives and who has saved us from the mud and mire and set our feet upon a rock. You see, when we gain a greater glimpse of the majesty and glory and splendor of God, it will humble us. And it will create a deeper dependency in us for God himself. I love what Andrew Murray said, who was a pastor, teacher missionary, listen to what he said. He said, "Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, "is the first duty in the highest virtue of the creature "and the root of every virtue. "And so pride or the loss of this humility, "is the root of every sin and evil." See humility, it's the place of entire dependence on God. See, may our praying come from a place of humility, acknowledging all who God is. But secondly, genuine prayer, it seeks the face of God. Seeks the face of God. Listen to our verse. "If my people who are called by my name "will humble themselves and pray and seek my face." See, when we're reading this verse with New Testament eyes, it's imperative to note, that the face of God is pointed toward us. Not away from us. See, if it was pointed away from us, it would be a sign of judgment and God's wrath but because of what Christ has done on our behalf, and being found in him, we can know that the face of God is ever pointed toward us. And so what our praying actually helps us to do is it helps to point our faces, maybe away from the cares and the distractions of this world. And it helps to point our face to the face of God who has his face pointed toward us. You see, it's to radically and boldly and lovingly and intimately seek the presence of God to seek his face. See, this is what our praying helps us to do. But thirdly, I would tell us this, is that genuine prayer is repentant. See in our verse, God says; "If my people who are called by my name "will humble themselves and pray and seek my face "and turn from their wicked ways, "then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin "and will heal their land." You see, in prayer, we have the opportunity to repair of maybe some areas that have caused us to satisfy the flesh or maybe we have the opportunity to confess areas of our lives, or we have pursued other lovers, other idols or maybe other things outside of God. You see, repentance simply means to turn, to do an about face, where we were once headed in this direction, but now we are going to head in this direction. You see, here's something to think about, is that God will always meet you in a place of repentance. He will always meet you there. So no matter what we've done, no matter what that might have looked like in your world and your life, our prayer is that together, even as a church, that we would repent, that we would seek the face of God because even maybe where we have fallen short, God will always meet us in a place of repentance. But do you know what repentant prayer actually helps us do? It helps us keep our focus on the beauty of the cross, on the beauty of what Jesus has done, that God in the person of Jesus, took upon himself the worst of my sin and your sin so that now in him we have the opportunity to walk in the light, to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light by repentance. You see, this is the beauty of repentant prayer. I wanted to even close my time by pointing our attention to what Tim Keller said. He said this. He said, "Prayer is both conversation "and encounter with God. "We must know the awe of praising his glory, "the intimacy of finding his grace "and the struggle of asking his help, "all of which can lead us to know "the spiritual reality of his presence." So let's learn from history as these returned Jewish exiles were reading this verse. Let's together, as a church, pray. Let's together, humble ourselves. Let's together seek the face of God, to seek his presence daily. Let's turn from any wicked way that we may have perhaps given ourselves to. You know, why? So that we together as a church would more deeply know the spiritual reality of God's presence in our lives. Let's take a few moments and pray together. So God, we come before you, we pray. God in our humility, we acknowledge you the king of kings and Lord of lords. One who has saved us. The one who rules over everything. The one who formed our very lives, acknowledge who you are in worship this day. God, I pray that we would seek your face daily. We would seek your presence, God, that we wouldn't get so comfortable with the status quo, but that we would instead seek who you are, seek your presence in the midst of our every moments, of our every day. God, we want more of you, less of us. You must increase, we must decrease. So God, I pray that we would seek your face this day. And God, I also pray that even today we would turn from our wicked ways. You would forgive us God of maybe areas in our lives where we have given ourselves over to other lovers, different idols, different things that maybe have captured our attention. I pray God that we would point our heart and our attention and our minds on things above, not on things of this world. God, we thank you so much for meeting with us. And I pray that we would together as a church, more deeply know the spiritual reality of your presence in our lives as we seek you and pray. We love you. It's in Jesus' name that we pray, amen.
Jonathan Drake: Fascinating is one of those words that has started to maybe take on some meanings, different from what was originally intended. I mean, you can hear it come up a lot more in modern vernacular even though maybe for a time it was out of place, now it started to pop up a little bit more. But to be clear like fasting originally and primarily was not like a new way to diet, like intermittent fasting, that wasn't the original intention of fasting. It's not like a way to like do a cleanse after the holiday, you know, just going hard on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. It's not primarily for that, nor is it just primarily the result of raising small children. Because speaking from personal experience, maybe you can identify with this. Like you get to the end of the day and you say, did I eat today? Did I eat today? I know Nick, Jeremiah, they know what I'm talking about, right? Like you kept the little people alive but then you were like, oh I guess I had coffee a few dozen times but that's not any of what fasting was originally intended to do. But taking into consideration some of what pastor Jerry already mentioned and what we would learn from the scripture in Psalm, let me give you kind of like a working definition of how we could talk about fasting. Fasting is the temporary denial of food in order to pursue God with greater intensity. That's maybe our working definition for today. Fasting is a temporary, emphasis there, denial of food in order to pursue God with greater intensity. It's important to note that there's no New Testament command for us to fast. And pastor Jerry listed a few of the examples throughout the scripture for us to pay attention to about fasting, and there's many of them. So while there's no New Testament command for us to obey, there are certainly plenty of biblical examples for us to learn from and apply. And if you were to do like a survey of fasting in the scripture, here's what you'd find. Regardless of the mode of fasting, you know whether it was a partial fast or a total fast, regardless of the length of the fast, whether it was a day or many more, the purpose is clear. To clear the stage for greater pursuit of God, greater intensity in pursuing God. But we may have, if you have any familiarity with fasting, we may have this reaction, like we don't want it to become legalistic, and I'm with you there. Fasting does not mean you become like a monk or you don't just bail on all of your commitments, you don't abandon your family or friends. You don't move to a monastery in like the Swedish Alps. It's none of those things, but fasting we should pay close attention to how Jesus himself talked about fasting because there are some things that we can learn from him. Even again, there wasn't a command explicitly, Jesus himself practiced it, and he also assumed it. He assumed that it would happen. Look what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6, beginning in verse 16; "When you fast," did you catch that? "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do "for they disfigure their faces to show others "they are fasting. "Truly I tell you, they've received their reward in full. "But when you fast," there it is again, "when you fast put oil on your head and wash your face "so that it will not be obvious to others "that you're fasting, but only to your father who is unseen. "And your father who sees what is done in secret "will reward you." He says, when, not if. Jesus assumes that his followers will continue on in the practice of fasting, but he wants there to be a distinctiveness to how his people practice it. He says, put oil on your head and wash your face. And without getting into too much of the historical context there, let me just bring those words up to this century this time. Take a shower, wash your face, do your hair, brush your teeth, please. Don't put your fasting under a magnifying glass as if it's like a badge of honor for you just because you did it. That looks way more like the Pharisees and the religious leaders of Jesus' day. Instead, focus on the main thing, why you're fasting in the first place, because fasting is not the main thing. It can't be. We've already shown that there's some examples of that, that you could fast without any of the spiritual benefit of that, so it's not just that, it has to be something else. He wants his followers to do this for the right reasons. Now fasting can't create spiritual change or growth in your life or mine. Only God can do that. But the reason that fasting is so helpful to us, here's why. Fasting can create space in our lives so that God Can change us. Fasting doesn't change us. Please, don't truncate this sentence to that length. Fasting doesn't change us. So don't say fasting really changed me, it can't. But fasting can create the space, the margin, the room in your life and in mine so that God can change us. So what does that look like? Why fasting anyway? Because when we temporarily deny ourselves and practice that denying that Jesus commanded his disciples, "If anyone wants to be my disciple, let him deny himself," let her deny herself. But when we deny ourselves of food for a time, when we pushed back from the table, we can become quickly aware of just how frail we are. Fasting reveals to us that it is God who sustains us, God alone, because what happens when you don't eat. Right, like the first thing is you get that growl. Your stomach's crying out, hey, it's 12:01, it's time to eat, right? You're gonna be feeling that maybe shortly. Hey, there's an alarm going off in this general region, right? It's the first sign. Then maybe what happens next? Maybe you get a little haywire. I mean, after all the word, hungry, was added to our dictionary just a couple of years ago. And wasn't it Snickers who reminded us this phrase, you're not you when you're hungry, right? So have a Snickers, that'll solve all the problems. So your emotions can kind of be tied into that as well. Then you get like a headache and then it's fatigue. You quickly become aware of your own weakness. It forces me to admit my own weakness. I'm not invincible. But there's more than that. It also reveals what drives us or maybe even more severely what controls us. Fasting can help uncover some of the blind spots in our hearts, in our lives of the things that have gained ground in our hearts that have no business being there, or no business being in that place of prominence in our hearts and in our lives. Paul said, I will not be mastered by anything. The implication is I already have a master and it's Christ. So maybe here's a question for you. What do you reach for when you reach empty? What do you reach for when you reach empty? I don't mean just physical hunger. I mean, what do you reach for after maybe a rough day at work, after a long day with the kids, after a tough conversation with your boss or maybe with your spouse or maybe with an aging parent or maybe your doctor, what do you reach for? What do you fill that void with or try to? Pay close attention to that. And when in fasting, you bring yourself intentionally to the point of emptiness, it can reveal the thing, the inclination of your heart, for what you go to grab. And a romantic comedy will tell you it's ice cream, right? Or maybe it's even the phrase we've got, comfort food, or maybe it's a bottle of some kind. Pay attention to what you reach for. Because what God wants to reveal to us in the times of fasting is that our reach should only be in one direction, to him. But sometimes we've formed habits of the soul that lead us to different destinations away from where he wants us to be. Fasting will cause you to look in the mirror, the mirror of your soul while you ask God, what's in the way. So what we do in fasting is we replace meal time with a soul investment. The time that you'd spend preparing and cooking and eating, you spend in his word. The time that you would have spent ordering on that app, driving to go pick it up, drive it back home and eat it, that time is spent in focused prayer. You make a temporary denial of something good, and God given, eating a meal, in order to make a burst of an investment into something that's even better. Your relationship with him. Now, obviously there's circumstances, and we can't list all of the circumstances, are kind of caveats to fasting, pastor Jerry alluded to that earlier and we'll say more about that at the end of our service today, you have to be wise. You can't go beyond what is safe. But maybe you'd consider joining with us as a church in this time of fasting and prayer because every one of us can pray. Most of us can fast. All of us can seek God together. Let's take time to do that even right now. God we don't want there to be anything in the way of our relationship with you. Would you increase our appetite for you Lord, that our souls, hunger and thirst would be after you and you alone. That's what it means for you to be at the center. It's not just words, those aren't just song lyrics. We truly want you to be at the center of it all, that we would pursue you, my soul aches and longs for you, God, you only. Draw us closer to your side. We pray this in Christ's name, amen.
Leroy Wiggins: Well, in a few moments, we're gonna share with you some ways that we can begin to pray and fast throughout the whole month of January. And I got to say, I can't think of a better way than start in the year that in prayer and in fasting. And I can't think of a better way to even begin to prepare for an extended time of prayer and fasting than for us this morning to feast on Jesus Christ, to share together as a body of believers in the Lord's supper. But before we just jump into the Lord's supper, I wanna just take a moment to remind us. And what I mean by us, I mean that I wanna remind you, I wanna remind me that as we take the Lord's supper, that we need to make sure that our hearts are rightly postured before God. That it isn't something to be taken lightly. This is something to be taken seriously because it is relational between you and the Lord and it's relational between all of us as we partake in the taking of the Lord's supper together. Now, I know everyone under the sound of my voice has had a crazy 2020, right? That there's a lot still on your head. There's a lot still on your heart. And although we say, hey, 2020 is gone, 2020 was so consuming that just because January 1st came, doesn't mean those things went away. That there is residual still there, there's school tomorrow morning, or maybe not. There's work tomorrow morning or maybe not. There's an appointment tomorrow morning or maybe not. All of these things are still on our heads and in our hearts and in our lives right about now as well. So what I don't want us to do is I don't want us to enter into this time of taking the Lord's supper with those things with us. I want us to take those things as big as they are, take them and place them aside because the Lord Jesus Christ is bigger than that. So we wanna make sure we posture our hearts rightly before the Lord. And you know, Paul even spoke about this in 1 Corinthians chapter 11: Listen to what he wrote in chapters, 11:27 through 28. "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread "and drinks of the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner "will be guilty concerning the body "and the blood of the Lord. "Let a person examine himself and then so eat the bread "and drink of the cup." So that's what I want us to do to posture ourselves rightly. In fact, maybe for a little bit of a spiritual formation I'd encourage you to read that same chapter verses 17 through 22 and then 27 through 34. So we wanna posture ourselves rightly before the Lord. And we started doing that already and in the moments of prayer we just had, but we're gonna do that again now. So let's do that together, collectively, that you would take a moment and pray and then I'll come back and I'll close us out in prayer. And then we'll take communion together. So let's pray. So heavenly father, we come before you giving you all the praise and all the glory as the creator of the universe. Through everything that is seen and everything is unseen, father was created by you. And as you created us, Lord, you created us to be in a relationship with you and we are so very grateful for that. And Lord, we thank you for your immeasurable love that you have toward us. We know that you can't love us less and you can't love us more because you already love us perfectly. And you demonstrated that through giving us your son, Jesus Christ, through whom him and only him that we would have a relationship with you, that we would be forgiven of our sins. And Lord, we just wanna take a moment to just ask for forgiveness, forgiveness of the things, Lord, that we may have thought that did displeased you or the things that we did or the things that we didn't do or the words that we said, Father, we just ask that you would forgive us from the bottom of our hearts for those things, Lord. And help draw us closer into you, Lord, so that we will forever continue to follow the promptings of the Holy spirit so that we would not gratify the desires of the flesh, but that we would just be in line with the spirit and live in step with the Lord. Father, we thank you that through Jesus Christ that once we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we enter into this new relationship, this new family of believers, Lord, that we want to make sure that we focus our love on the family and our love for Jesus Christ. So God, we just thank you for this time to be able to rightly prepare our hearts to rightly take the Lord's supper. So father, we love you and we thank you. And we praise you, for in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and savior, amen. So now we can participate in the Lord's supper together. So if you would take your bread element in whatever form that it looks like for you this morning, take your bread element. And as you take that element, I want you to remember that Jesus came to us in bodily form, that he left heaven through a miraculous birth, came to earth and gave us his body. And that through his body, that we would have salvation, that Jesus is our salvation. That through his body, we would have forgiveness of sins, that through Jesus Christ himself, that we would be redeemed and restored and reconciled to God. And through Jesus Christ, as we come to faith in him, we joined the family and are now children of God, and that is something worth celebrating. So let us eat and celebrate together. And again, in whatever form you have with, let us take our drink. And as we remember the bodily form of Jesus Christ, we remembered that body that went to the cross, that cost him everything. Then as his blood poured out, it covered our sins. As his blood poured out, as we accept Christ, it gives us life because there is life in the blood. And although he died on the cross and was placed in a grave, and the Holy spirit miraculously rose him from the grave and he ascended to the father, one day, Jesus is returning. And you may have heard this before, while the world drinks to forget, we as believers, drink to remember. So let us drink and celebrate as we remember what the Lord has done and that he will return.