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Communion Meditations (2017)


Originally scheduled for January 8

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

(Ephesians 5:22-24)


In this passage of Scripture, St. Paul is making the argument for the husband to be the head of the household. His argument is that it’s just like Christ and the church. We often refer to the church as the bride of Christ, and Paul extends this argument to say that therefore — just as the church is in submission to Jesus Christ — women should be in submission to their husbands. One of the things I would point out to you is that Paul makes no real defense of this; he sees it as a simple example. I doubt that he had in mind that women would ever decide that submission to their husbands is an evil thing. But one of the many changes that the church has seen over the last century is the change in attitude toward marriage, women and sexuality. It is no great secret that many women in the church make it a point of pride to tell people that they are not in submission to their husband. We have nothing like the time needed to debate this in a simple communion meditation. I bring it to your attention because one of the side effects of this change is that we have rejected the principle of Lordship. We call him Lord; but ask yourself — do you mean it?

Indeed, the change in marriage alone shows how far we have gone from Christ’s commands. Many women (and many men) see “living together” as a superior option. There is no senior partner; therefore there can be no permanent partnership. If they do get married, they do so with the knowledge that divorce is common. Where the church once considered it a sin, is now viewed more as a right. It’s something to which we are entitled. Our relationship with Christ, then, is one where we view him as Savior — but not Lord. The oldest lie in the world: sin is enlightening.

The effect on communion may seem subtle to you, but it is very real. We accept him as Lord only when convenient. The truth, however, is that it’s a package deal. If you call upon him to be your savior, you must take him as your Lord. He didn’t give you any options in that. If you want salvation, Lordship comes with it. One of the times it seems convenient to us to fail to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ is when we face communion. We may know that we are to forgive others, and this is Christ’s command. But we approach communion with the idea that we don’t have to do that — at least not yet. Do you think Christ will overlook this? No, I don’t think so either. Therefore, do what you should: forgive. No matter who it is, forgive. For without forgiving, there is no forgiveness. Do not allow communion to become an empty ritual; rather make it a time to commune with your Lord and acknowledge him as such.


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