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Communion Meditations (2017)


Originally scheduled for May 21

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the church decided to give out membership points somewhat along the lines of airline frequent flyer clubs? Envision it this way: we have three levels, silver, gold, and platinum. You get points for attendance; you get points for service and of course you get points for offering.

·         When the ordinary churchgoer achieves his silver status, he moves up from a hard pew to softly padded ones — and his kids, no matter how young, are taken to the nursery.

·         When he moves up to gold status, he gets the privilege of sitting in a theater chair. He can bring a cup of coffee in, and we will allow his children even into the high school ministry.

·         Finally, there would be the platinum club members. They would sit in luxurious armchairs at the very back of the proceedings, with their own TV screen showing what’s going on the platform and full surround-sound to hear the choir and orchestra.

The preacher, of course, will use the platinum members as good examples to the rest of us. We might even go so far as to let you redeem your points for heavenly forgiveness. Don’t laugh; it’s been done before. So you might ask what’s wrong with this scheme?

·         A system like this is going to promote the sin of envy in the church. Let’s face it; my tithes and offerings don’t add up to 1/10 of those who are around me. I’m at a permanent handicap when it comes to getting points to get higher up in the system. And I’m envious of those who do it so easily.

·         This sort of system promotes complaining to. How many points for how much offering? Well that’s fair for me, but not for the rich guy — we need a sliding scale, right?

·         It isn’t long before this is going to destroy the sense of family in the church. We call each other brothers and sisters because we are the family of God. This system will look like the foster care house on the way to hell.

God has taught us by example in communion what he wants. Do you notice that everyone receives the same elements, all made of the same ingredients? Did you ever notice that those ingredients are relatively cheap? Have you ever even heard of gourmet unleavened bread? More than that, all of us are taught to examine ourselves and see that we eat in a worthy manner. The point about self examination is that it skips no one and it is very personal to each of us. All of us are sinners. That means we are in need of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice — and indeed the Lord’s Supper.

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