Monthly Archives: April 2008

The good and the bad…

Well good and bad…new web site is up with new podcasts available for download too! There’s still some features we’ll be adding, but check it out! www.ephesuschurch.tv or just ephesuschurch.tv if you’re nasty!

It seems we won’t be moving back into Brevard St. for a good while longer. They are having to do major renovations and we’ll have to wait till they finish. BUT…it’s going to be an awesome facility when it’s ready for us to move back in. So for now, we’re still meeting at the 24-7 Prayer Room.

New series starts this week, “Ephesians:Pocket Guide to Christianity” come check it out.

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The trailer in all its glory




The trailer in all its glory

Originally uploaded by g8rben

Ben Eige
Pastor, Ephesus Church
http://www.ephesuschurch.tv

Sent via BlackBerry

The Vision

The last couple of days I[ve been pondering the importance of keeping the vision out front. Most good workshops or books will reiterate that, but it really hits home when you’re in the trenches. Ephesus Church has launched, seemingly with no hiccups. It almost did seem too easy, then it hit! Our facility that we had been planning in and meeting in for several months went down to an electrical system failure the week after our official launch. Or momentum seemed to come to a grinding, screeching halt. We’ve found a temporary (what I like to call a temporary temporary) location and our original building is under repair and should be available again soon, but it surely brought challenges. Our easy run was over. I struggled with discouragement, even as our launch team rallied and persevered like the incredible folks they are. All the doubts and questions bubbled up into my mind. I was praying through all of this and the vision God originally gave for Ephesus bubbled up in my soul. I went back to the videos we had created to express that vision and was re-inspired! Many times, leadership instruction on vision is geared towards keeping the vision in front of the people (In case you’re wondering, this “leadership-concept” has it’s roots in a book written a few thousand years ago…). But the thing is, I needed to keep the vision out front. About 6 months ago I preached a sermon in our sponsoring church about the need for planting churches and specifically the vision to plant Ephesus in Uptown Charlotte. A couple of months back, Pastor Farrell Lemings, senior pastor at Grace, gave me some advice. He said to get some copies of that message and tuck them away somewhere, because at some point I’m going to need to hear it again myself. Times will come where I’ll get discouraged, and we’ll hit road blocks and I’ll need to be reminded myself about the vision God has planted. I have to be honest, my first thought was “I’m too pumped about this deal! Good advice, but I doubt I’ll need it.” Once again, my arrogance had gotten the best of me. I do need to constantly be reminded of the vision. To be encouraged by the vision. To be shown that it’s God vision, and not my, or anyone else’s, vision. If it’s God it’s gonna happen. My response now has to be that I continually keep the vision out in front of me, and out in front of the team, and ultimately everyone plugging into Ephesus. Loving Jesus, loving people, and loving the city…

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Passover and Communion

This past week at Ephesus I taught on Communion. If you’ve been in church a long time like I have, Communion can have the tendency to get blase, or if you are new to the Christian faith, you perhaps don’t have a full understanding of why we have snacks in church. Either way, you can check out the podcast at EphesusChurch.tv on iTunes or through our website here in the next day or two. Below, is something my dad, Jacob Eige, compiled, explaining the depth of connection between Communion and Passover as celebrated by the Jewish people for thousands of years in remembrance of their Exodus from Egypt. Hope you enjoy and thanks Dad!

Communion, The Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Last Supper, Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or even Passover they are all the same, a remembrance all point to a meal Jesus and the disciples had on the night He was betrayed. And just like many titles there are many thoughts, teachings, books and sermons on it as well. However, there is an overlooked aspect to this important part of our faith, the symbolism found in the Lord’s Supper. Not the symbolism handed down by the church but the symbolism of the elements and Jesus’ words. God has always used symbols to help us so let’s look at the ones the Disciples would note on that Passover eve with Jesus.
While we don’t have the space or the time to look at the whole picture I would like to focus on the two elements of Communion, the Matzo and the Cup. The bread of Passover is what we call unleavened bread. First, bread is considered symbolic of life L’Chaim. In John 6:48 Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. He was born in the City of Bread, Bethlehem. Next Matzo is unleavened bread. Leaven at Passover symbolizes sin and before Passover every trace is removed from the home. Jesus warns us about the Leaven of the Pharisees in Matthew 16:6. Next if we look at a large piece of Matzah we see that there are numerous brown spots all over the Matzah. For us it symbolizes the bruises and stripes that the Messiah bore as prophesied by Isaiah 53:5 that we deserve for our pesha, our rebellion against GOD and our healing both physical and spiritual. Next we will notice the numerous holes in the bread, symbolizing the three nails and a spear that pierced Jesus for our sins. Now we must note that Matzah is not widely used in many Churches for the Lord’s Supper and the ones who do seldom make note of it’s important symbolism before partaking.
Paul in I Corinthians 11:23-26 says in verse 25 that after supper Jesus took the cup. What cup are we seeing here? The Passover table at which Jesus and the Disciples reclined had 14 places set. Now at the beginning of the Passover meal there were 13 people present so why 14 places? Early on in the formation of the whole Passover, Haggadah or Pasach, a place was set for the expected Messiah. During the remembrance part of the meal the youngest person at the table would get up and go to the door, open it and see if the Messiah was there. As the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah and the sect of Christians, most of whom were still Jewish, grew, the Rabbis decided to change the empty place to that of Elijah reasoning that he had to come before the Messiah so he would be the one at the door. It was not a sudden change but an evolution of the meal, the Seder. Also when we reach the 3rd cup the Haggadah has the leader lifting up the cup at Elijah’s place as the youngest goes to the door. This is also called the Cup of Redemption. Jesus, I am convinced, picked up this cup from not Elijah’s place but from the Messiah’s place and said: “In this Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood which is poured out for you.” The symbolism of this was not lost on the Disciples that the Messiah had indeed come and that HE was lifting up the Cup of Redemption and saying to remember not just the exodus of Passover, His death on the Cross but that He would be coming back. I do believe, though, the full import of all this was yet to be realized by them.
What wonderful symbolism if we look at the Jewish roots of the Lord’s Supper. When we move past just the usual words of the Institution we uncover the desire of GOD for us to come deeper into HIS Love and what Jesus did for us as the Passover Lamb. It is good for us to take some time not only to examine ourselves but also to think again on

all the symbolism designed by GOD to draw us closer to HIMSELF and to remember what Jesus did as the Passover Lamb, which was no small thing.
This symbolism is GOD’S special tool to help us not only remember the past but to have promise in the present of forgiveness and healing and that The Messiah will one day return both as the Passover Lamb and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then we will drink with HIM from the 4th Cup, the Cup of Hallel, The Cup of High Praise which Jesus did not appear to drink from that night. Why? Because in Matthew 26:29 Jesus says, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
I pray that the next time you partake of Communion, aka Passover, that you will remember and rejoice that we have a special way to remember one simple truth: Abba, GOD, loves us so very much.

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Worship

Tonight at Ephesus I’m continuing the series on the church by talking about worship. What it is and why we do it at church. I originally intended to talk about worship as well as communion and preaching in one message. Boy was that poor planning. As dug in more and more I realized there’s no way I could do it! So tonight, it’s just worship. Even with spending the whole time on it tonight we’ll still only scratch the surface. I could easily do a whole series on worship and maybe someday I will. Needless to say, I wanted to direct you to 2 small books that give great insight into the entirety of worship. It is so much more than a few songs during a Sunday service and these books uncover the depth of true worship. I encourage you to pick them up and do some more reading on your own.

Inside Out Worship-compiled by Matt Redman

(you have to ignore the cheesy cover)

The Unquenchable Worshipper-written by Matt Redman

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