Sausage, Church & The Gospel
Well, it happened. I heard it. I saw it. I tasted it. Iím talking about sausage. Zionís 51st Annual Sausage Supper is now behind us. After experiencing it, I am convinced that there was no exaggerating on the part of many of you who have talked about this feast of sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes and more since my arrival just a few months ago. It really is spectacular to see, to experience and to participate.
The sausage and all the food was great. I didnít help with every single aspect of the event, but I enjoyed the trip to Korte Meats in Highland to pick up the meat. For a carnivore such as myself, that was a special treat. I enjoyed peeling potatoes on Saturday, not that the act is much fun in itself. It was the fellowship surrounding it that did it for me. I was gifted to be able to cut some of the peeled potatoes. I witnessed David Wells almost lose a finger in the process. I made my rounds during the event, visiting with folks who were eating and working. It was so wonderful to walk around and bask in the joy of Zion coming together, Zion as one.
If 2000 pounds of sausage can do that, then hold on to your hats, for we have the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Sausage unites us tremendously once a year. The Gospel unites us every day of our lives. The Gospel, given by Godís grace, received by faith, unites us together in Christ Jesus. We are one body with Him. We are one body in Him. We are one body bound together, with all the members of Zion Staunton and the greater Zion, the whole Christian church in heaven and on earth.
The sausage supper is a great event to see and be a part of, and many of you pointed that out to me again and again. You also pointed out to me that itís Zion at its best. I concur! To all of that I say, ďAmen.Ē Why is it, then, that Zion gathered around the gifts of Christ isnít Zion at its best? If folks can set aside their differences and rally around sausage, then why not rally around the eternal gifts of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially His Supper, and bask in the joy of life eternal?
Kneeling together before the Lordís Altar to receive His body and blood is a great thing! Partaking of His body and blood together is a gift! With three weekend services, we donít always have the opportunity to kneel next to some at Zion. Some of us rejoice in that. We have our safe havens from those who arenít our favorite people. Plenty of us also lament it because it means there are many people we just donít get to know very well because they go to a different service.
The Gospel brings together people of all sorts. We are all sinners with our own struggles, with our own problems, with our own challenges. We sin against the Lord. We sin against one another. You do it. I do it. We all do it. Sometimes we do it very maliciously. Sometimes we do it without thinking. We have disagreements. We hold grudges. Perhaps the problem is that many of us donít see this in ourselves. When you recognize that you are a sinner, that you daily sin much, youíll see your fellow sinners in a different light. When the Holy Spirit convinces you that all of our sins nailed Jesus to the cross, your neighborís and yours, then your perspective must change.
The same Gospel of Christ that forgives you, even of your deepest, darkest sins, also forgives the one kneeling alongside you at the communion rail. Ah! Now, by the grace of God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, we can see one another as fellow redeemed, baptized children of God, clothed in Christís robe of righteousness. Thatís how God sees you. So should you see your neighbor. Then we can move forward together in Christian love, united in Christ, grounded in Christ, growing in Christ, living in Christ alongside one another. Dear saints of Zion, youíve shown me something by this wonderful sausage supper. You can serve together in Christian love.
The devil would have you be divided. The devil would have you love yourself, rather than one another. The devil would have you arguing about mission rather than doing it, arguing even so that you canít do it. The devil would have you feasting on tearing one another down, rather than feasting on that which builds, edifies, strengthens, nourishes and binds you togetheróthat is Christ Jesus. Itís Lent. Our Lord reminds you to cast off the works of darkness and walk as children of light. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome. He came to destroy the devilís work. That He did! ďIt is finished,Ē cried your Savior from the cross. In Christ the devilís work is undone. In Christ you are one with God and with one another.
You have been called by the Gospel, gathered into Christís Body, enlightened with His gifts. The Holy Spirit also sanctifies you and keeps you with Jesus in the one true faith. With regard to the Gospel, youíve heard it; youíve seen it and youíve even tasted it. Thatís what weíre all about as sons and daughters of the Lord Jesus. Thatís what weíre all about as a church, receiving Christís gifts, serving God, serving one another and serving others together. May God grant us many, many more wonderful sausage suppers. And may He continue to draw us closer to Himself and to one another as He gathers us around His Supper.