Welcome to Christadelphians of Tanzania
The Christadelphians (a word created from the Greek for "Brethren in Christ"; cp. Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ") are a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas, who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism. The group has often been described as a form of Messianic Judaism, as they share many of their beliefs and hopes with Judaism; notably the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel whilst they also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.
Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians, who are spread across approximately 120 countries; there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries, along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000), Australia (9,987), Malawi (7,000), United States (6,500), Mozambique (7,500), Canada (3,375), New Zealand (1,785), Kenya (1,700), India (1,500) and Tanzania (100). This puts the figure at around 57,000.
FOOD FROM HEAVEN
Readings: Numbers ch. 12; Luke ch. 22
It is a long time since those events took place of which we havejust read in the 22nd chapter of Luke, when Christ kept the last Passover with his disciples. It is almost as long again since the happeningof the incidents of which we are now reading in the book of Numbers; and yet both have an intimate connection with the purpose of our gathering here this morning around the bread and wine upon the Table.
When Christ, as we have read, gave the bread to his disciples he said: “This is my body which is given for you.” Yes, the bread—the bread of which we shall shortly eat—represents Christ’s body: that body that was pierced on Calvary’s hill, that body that suffered the humiliation of the cross in order that sin’s power might be destroyed. That is the first, the primary meaning of this symbol. And yet if it represented nothing more than a slain body, there would be little value in eating it week by week as we do.
Happily, we know from Christ’s own words that it signifies much more. He said, as recorded in John 6.48: “I am the bread of ljfe.”“This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.”“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of that bread, he shall live for ever.” Those words teach us that bread, far from being a symbol mer