By David Faust
On rainy days I wear a tan-colored raincoat. It’s a little too big and somewhat out of style. (Remember the one worn by Peter Falk as the TV character Columbo?) I figure raincoats are meant to keep you dry, not to make a fashion statement.
But I value that coat for a deeper reason. After my dad died, my mother invited me to go through his closet. I decided to keep a couple of his ties, a black spring jacket, and the oversized raincoat. Whenever I wear it, the coat reminds me of Dad. I found a half-
eaten package of breath-mints in one of the pockets, and even the mints reminded me of Dad.
Remembering Our Lord
When people die, we euphemistically say they “passed away.” Biblically speaking, however, “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). This painful, broken, sin-filled world is what actually passes away. If we live and die in Christ, we won’t pass away; instead, we will experience the reality that “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Since Christians don’t have to worry about “passing away,” we should focus on what we can “pass on” to others. Dad passed on valuable things to me—his godly example, his devotion to my mother, his faithful work on the farm and in the church, and his quiet but firm trust in God that was the guiding principle of his life.
The apostle Paul passed on things as well. He told the believers in Corinth, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). This included words of instruction about what happens when God’s family gathers around the Lord’s table. The Lord’s Supper involves:
• A fellowship to experience. “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (10:17).
• A command to obey. The Lord said, “Do this” (11:24).
• A Savior to remember. Jesus said to do it “in remembrance of me” (vv. 24, 25).
• A covenant to honor and uphold. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (v. 25).
• A death to proclaim. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death”
• A hope to celebrate. In this holy meal we proclaim the Lord’s death “until he comes” (v. 26).
• An opportunity for self-examination. We are told to do so before we “eat of the bread and drink from the cup”
Relaying Our Faith
One of our most important jobs as Christians is, in the words of Paul, to pass on whatever we “have received from the Lord.” He told Timothy, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).
What have we heard from the Lord that we need to pass along to someone else? What faith lessons do our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews need to hear and see? How can we ensure that the message of the resurrected Christ isn’t just relegated to Easter Sunday? How can we remember Jesus meaningfully—not only during the Lord’s Supper but throughout the week? What spiritual truths must we pass on to the next generation?
The Christian faith is a relay race, and before we finish running, we must hand the baton to the next runner.
I’m glad my dad passed along more than an oversized raincoat.
1. What does the Lord’s Supper mean to you?
2. What is the most important thing you will pass on to the next generation?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
The Lookout’s Bible Reading Plan for April 20, 2014
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
1 Corinthians 9:13–27
Judges 4, 5
1 Corinthians 10:1–13
Judges 6, 7
1 Corinthians 10:14–33
1 Corinthians 11:1–16
1 Corinthians 11:17–34
1 Corinthians 12:1–13