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Communion Meditations (2016)

New Every Morning

Originally scheduled for June 5

Lamentations 3:21-23 KJV  (21)  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  (22)  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  (23)  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

 

In the middle of one of the most discouraging books in the Bible, Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah comes up with this little gem. I think we can understand it. Have you had the sensation that God just couldn’t forgive you one more time? Surely, he’s tired of you and your sins? In this passage take hope.

Human beings get weary. God, however, is timeless — and therefore does not change. As he does not change, therefore he does not get weary (even of our sins.) It seems contradictory to think of something that is timeless and yet ever new. Perhaps an analogy will help. The Mississippi River, “Old Man River” just keeps rolling along. The river looks the same every day. But we know that the water in the river just keeps going on and on, so it’s always new. God’s mercy is like that; always the same, always new.

“They are new every morning” — why morning? Electric lights have changed this quite a bit, but in the day of the prophet Jeremiah when the sun went down, it got dark. Human beings easily weary in the darkness, fearful of the things we cannot see. But then comes the dawn. It’s not that things have changed; it’s that we can see them now. With the dawn, Jeremiah could see the mercies of God.

“Great is thy faithfulness” — we think of human beings as being faithful (or not), but God is the ultimate in faithfulness. He has promised us his mercies, and by his very character he cannot lie. As the apostle John told us,

1 John 1:9 KJV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God is not only faithful but righteous. By the sacrifice of Christ on the cross our sins have been atoned for, and therefore in justice our sins have been cleansed. Christ has paid the price; we owe nothing. And because of this, we have hope. The day will come when our salvation is revealed at the return of Christ.

Men need to be reminded much more often than they need to be taught. CS Lewis remarked that Satan does his best work by keeping thoughts out of our mind rather than putting thoughts in them. Satan wants us to forget the nature of God’s mercy, and succumb to hopelessness. This is one reason that Christ gave us communion. We see in communion the same elements, cup and bread, every time we partake. It reminds us of the sameness and constancy of God’s mercy. It’s like that river: the form of communion is always the same; the specific elements, like God’s mercy, are ever new.

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