Originally scheduled for June 18
The book of Daniel is often considered to be
the key to prophecy in the Bible. One of the most enduring pictures
that Daniel gives us, in Daniel 2:34-45, is that of the smiting
stone. You will recall that the stone hits the statue on the feet,
destroying it. The image is repeated not only in Daniel but also in
Isaiah, Zechariah and the Psalms. We may note two things:
The stone itself is generally
interpreted to be Christ. The destruction of the kingdoms and the
establishment of the everlasting kingdom is held to be the work of
The kingdom that is established is,
of course, the church. Please note that it is specifically
prophesied that the church will last forever. Western civilization
may crumble and decay (it certainly looks to be doing that right
about now) but the church will last forever.
But see how the kingdom was established!
Despite the violence of the imagery, the church was not established
by force or power, but by the atonement of Christ. This was
So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not
by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
Communion specifically commemorates this
triumph of the Spirit. In it we see the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
The bread represents his body; the cup, his blood. This reminds us
of the greatest event in history; you can find nothing greater
looking back. Because the church will last forever, you will find
nothing greater looking forward until the return of Christ. When you
take communion, you commemorate the eternal nature of the church and
Given that, when you leave this place this
morning, how should you behave? Peter extends the metaphor of the
stone in first Peter 2:4-10. He tells us that, like Christ, we are
the living stones of God’s house. You and I are the church; we
proclaim it in communion. So then, how should we behave?
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to
abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such
good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing
wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he
(1 Peter 2:11-12)
There you have it: by taking communion you have
proclaimed the kingdom of God. Therefore, go from this place and be
the living stones of the kingdom.