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   Grace - Feast of Harvest Sunday Evening Holy Communion    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   John 6:53- 55


[John 6:53- 55]
"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.'"

There is a hymnal song that has been sung by so many people around the world. It is 'Amazing Grace'.
It starts with, 'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.'
John Newton is the one who wrote the lyrics of this song.
At the age of six he lost his mother who had sincere faith, and since then, he went astray and committed many kinds of sins. He became the captain of a slave ship, treating the slaves brutally and selling them.
Meanwhile he faced a great storm, and when he was in danger, he sought the grace of God and met Jesus Christ.
He turned from his ways and eventually became a pastor, trying his best to spread the gospel for the rest of his life.
The lyrics of the 'Amazing Grace' talk about the grace of salvation that he gained in the midst of living a filthy and sinful life.
Even after he turned 80 he passionately preached the gospel and often said, "My memory is weak now, but I clearly remember two things. One is that I used to be sinner, and the other is that Jesus Christ is the great Savior who saved me."
What kind of confessions do you make?
Do you have the grace of God deeply engraved in your heart so that you will never forget it, even if all your memory fails you?
On this Feast of Harvest Sunday, I hope you will remember the limitless and endless grace of God once again in your heart. I hope you remember that though we were all sinners He made His children; that He keeps us each as the apple of His eye, and He leads us to the kingdom of Heaven.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The first grace we should remember on this Feast of Harvest is the grace that allows for us to change into true children of God.
The reason why God the Creator created the human beings is to gain true children.
Not just children who unconditionally obey like robots, but those children who can share true love from the heart, understanding God's heart deeply.
He gave us the freewill to choose the goodness, love, and truth after experiencing the flesh that perishes on this earth during the course of human cultivation.
In the steps of human cultivation, we can deeply realize the love of God and cultivate a heart of spirit that will never change.
Those who do not understand this principle of cultivation seek meaningless things all their lives and eventually reach destruction.
But you learned and realized the providence of God, and now you are living valuable lives.
Suppose two men are sailing. They are equally qualified as sailors, but one has a compass and sails towards the destination while the other is just drifting around without direction. Then each one's life will have completely different outcomes and meaning.
If we understand the purpose of our lives and the providence of cultivation, we can go in the direction of our goal even in trials or hardships.
Because we have faith, we can overcome everyday's trials by relying on God. Because we have hope, we can take on anything with thanksgiving.
I hope you will always remember the grace of God who taught you the providence of human cultivation clearly and let you take hold of Heaven by force with faith.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will choose the most valuable direction in life and quickly change into true children of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second grace that we have to remember is the grace of receiving salvation through Jesus Christ.
Even though we understand the providence of cultivation clearly, we cannot go to Heaven with that knowledge.
We who are descendants of Adam were destined to fall into Hell due to sins.
But because the sinless Jesus took the cross on our behalf, the way has now been opened so that we can go to Heaven.
Brothers and sisters, can you really give you life for someone whom you love?
Can you endure the pain of one of your legs or one of your fingers being cut off?
Crucifixion is one of the cruelest ways of execution.
You don't get anesthesia. The pain is not just for a short time.
Jesus was dragged here and there and mocked all night, and He was scourged all over His body even to the extent that blood was dripping and His bones were exposed.
Thorns the length of fingers were piercing into His head.
With His hands and feet nailed with thick nails, He was hung all day under the scorching sun and died after shedding all His blood and water.
If you explain the pain of each of those things in detail, would you willingly take this punishment on the cross on another's behalf?
But Jesus did it and died for us.
Romans 5:7-8 says, "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
We did not love God first.
Jesus took the cross quietly for those souls who forsook God, for those who persecuted Him and cursed Him, and for the heinous sinners who were living in darkness.
I hope you will engrave this grace of the Lord who saved us more deeply in your heart day after day.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the third grace that we should remember on this Feast of Harvest is the grace of giving you a true shepherd.
God created men and gave Jesus Christ for human cultivation, but there still are so many people in the world who are not saved.
There are many who have not heard the gospel, or have heard it but do not understand it. There are also many who say they believe, but still follow the lust of the world.
Sometimes, those who gave thanks for the grace of the Lord with tears get tempted and go back to the world.
As this age is becoming increasingly darkened, and people follow lust, pleasure, and personal benefits more and more, we are in desperate need of a true shepherd who keeps his flock.
As Jesus said in John 10:11, the latter part, "...the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep," a true shepherd has to take care of his flock with all his life.
He has to let them discern the will of God with the word that penetrates to the division of spirit, soul, and joints and marrow.
He has to show the signs and wonders so that they can have spiritual faith and meet and experience God.
He has to warn them of sin, righteousness, and judgment so they will not be stained by the world and be able to overcome the sins and temptations.
If a ferocious animal takes the sheep, the shepherd will take the sheep back from the mouth of the animal. In the same manner, a true shepherd has to bring back the souls from sins.
Above all, he has to let them feel the love of God the Father so they can receive the strength and grace to overcome the world.
He has to keep the souls with all his life until they can stand on the truth by themselves.
Those of you who attend this church have heard the word of life that you have not heard anywhere else.
You were convinced that the message is true through the powerful works of God, and your spiritual faith has grown up.
You imprinted the love of the Father in human cultivation and the love of the Lord who took the cross deep on your hearts.
I hope you will give thanks for the grace of God who let you come to this church and meet the shepherd.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We will have the Holy Communion in the second part of the service.
The Holy Communion contains the basic principle of our Christian life.
The reason why we regularly have the Holy Communion with the explanations on its spiritual meaning is because you should keep that meaning in mind.
Today's reading passage John 6:54 says, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
In other words, it means he who does not eat the flesh and does not drink the blood of the Son of Man does not have eternal life or the hope of resurrection.
The reason why we worship and pray everyday in our lives is, after all, to gain salvation and eternal life.
From this we can understand the importance of the spiritual meaning of the Holy Communion.
First, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to take in the word of God as our spiritual bread.
John 1:1 says that the Word was God.
John 1:14 says that God, who is the Word, became flesh and came down to this earth, and He is Jesus.
So, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to take the Word of God as our spiritual bread.
This does not mean learning the Bible just as in knowledge but to change our heart with the word.
It is to cast off evil from our hearts and replace it with goodness and love.
To eat the flesh of the Son of Man this way, we must drink His blood at the same time.
This means that in addition to learning the word of God, we must have the deeds of actually practicing the word following our belief.
Let me give you an allegory. It's like when people eat food they have to drink liquid, too.
If you eat dry food without taking any liquid, you cannot digest it well even if the food is very nutritious.
We can absorb the nutrients and also give out the bodily waste only when we consume liquid, too.
Similarly, when we learn the word of God, we should not just remember and keep it in our head as knowledge but we must try to put it into practice.
We have to obey the commands that tell us to do, not do, keep, or cast away certain things.
Only by doing so, the word of God that you learned will actually become your life and strength.
The untruth in your heart will be removed, and it will be replaced by the truth.
Hatred will go away to the extent that love fills it.
Arrogance will be cast away to the extent that humbleness enters in. Hot temper will go away as meekness is filled.
Also from 1 John 1:7 we can understand that we have life in us only when we drink the blood of the Son of Man as well as eat His flesh.
It says, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
Here, to walk in the light means to obey the word of God and practice it.
Jesus shed His precious blood to redeem us from sins.
And for us to be forgiven through His blood, we must walk in the light.
You already understand this spiritual meaning of the Holy Communion along with so many other spiritual things listening to many messages.
In that, you have been receiving blessings both in body and spirit, having not just assurance of salvation but also hope for New Jerusalem.
I hope you will give thanks for the grace of the Father God who guides you day after day with the spiritual Word and His power.
Also, I hope this Holy Communion will renew your hearts with the love of God and become another beginning point for you to lead a more vigorous Christian life.
And in the end, may you all be changed into God's true children whom God desires, in the name of the Lord I pray!