Title: Miss Muffett or Gospel

Summary: The purpose of the Passover was to bring the past to the present to root God’s
 people in their identity as God’s redeemed first born. The same is true of the Lord’s supper  

Text: Exodus 11-13 

I.  Introduction
	A.  Try Something:
		1.  Little Miss Muffet… Can you finish it?
		2.  Mary had a little lamb…
		3.  Those were just a few lines.  So try this:
			a.  Sing Amazing Grace without opening the book
			b.  Why is it you can do this?  Hear it over and over again
	B.  When hear something repeatedly, makes lifelong impression
	C.  Israel had something they were to repeat for all time

II.  Text:  Exodus 12-13
	A.  After God announces last plague in chap 11, narrative slows to a crawl
		1.  The flow and pattern of the story comes to an abrupt halt here
		2.  We would expect the climax of the story to be the telling of the
		    10th plague, but only one verse in devoted to that (12:29)
		3.  Instead, verse after verse after verse is given to.... ritual
	B.  Chapters 12 and 15 weave narrative, ritual and liturgy together.
	C.  3 Rituals here:
		1.  Passover
		2.  Feast of Unleavened bread
		3.  Consecration and redemption of the firstborn
	D.  We in our fellowship tend to be anti-ritual, anti-tradition, anti-liturgical
	E.  Here God instructs ritual and liturgy.  Why?

III.  There were three things God was interested in
	A.  God was interested in establishing a memorial (12:13)
		1.  What is a memorial?  --  A remembrance
		2.  These things were to call to mind what God had done
		3.  Was Passover JUST a memorial?
	B.  God was interested in participation (12:4, 42)
		1.  All Israel was to do this.  If family too small to consume lamb, 
		      they joined another family.  A community affair!
		2.  Not just remember what forefathers (12:27; 13:8, 14)
		3.  The past was brought to the present in these memorials
		4.  They “relived” the events
	C.  God was interested in bring the past to the present to root his people in 
	      their identity as God’s redeemed people
		1.  Notice how ritual is inseparably interwoven with narrative here
		2.  This was to help prevent it from becoming "empty" ritual
		3.  They rehearsed to their children the events of the past
		4.  Children hear it over and over again through the years, shapes 
		     their identity and the way they live
	D.  But wait, we are Christians - Yes, we are Christians, and it significant 
	      that Lord’s Supper during Passover

IV.  Is the Lord’s Supper strictly a remembrance, or is it participation like
	A.  I Cor 11:23-25 - It is a “memorial” like the Passover
	B.  I Cor 10:16-17 - It is a “fellowship” or “participation”
	C.  I Cor 11:26 - It is a proclamation - “teaching” just like Passover
	D.  Lord’s Supper as a “memorial” is really no different than the Passover
		1.  Just transformed the meaning
		2.  However, the aspects of “ritual” “liturgy” and “story” are the 
	E.  How well are we doing with this?

V.  Do we fulfill the purpose of this ritual?
	A.  Passover was prepared on the 10th day and sacrificed on the 14th
		1.  How much preparation do we put into our hearts and minds?
		2.  The Lord’s Supper was a central part of Lord’s Day for Early Xns
	B.  The Passover festival was an all night and day afair
		- Do we rush through the Lord’s Supper?  (5 minutes with no 
	C.  Passover events were rehearsed and infused into the hearts and 
	  minds of the people to impress on them their identity as God’s redeemed
		1.  First of the year for them  (for us, it is the first day of the week)
		2.  They didn’t go mindlessly or quietly through it.  Do we?
		3.  ***Jewish children had no ambiguity in their minds as to what 
		    the Passover was about.  What about our children and the Lord's 
	D.  Early Christians not rush through Lord’s Supper,  They lingered.
	E.  Early Christians were rooted in their faith, they rehearsed this every 

VI.  God gave us traditions and rituals for a reason
	A.  What  it say when children can recite "Miss Muffett" but not Gospel?
	B.  Traditions, rituals with their stories, -- they ROOT us and children 
	C.  Only by appropriating the past can we face the future
	D.  We proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  Look back and forward.
	E.  ***They were never intended to be mindless outward acts.  If they are 
	     dry, lifeless, and dead, it is only because we have made them that way.

Concl:  Lord's Supper to remember Gospel, Baptism is demonstration of it (inv)