Originally scheduled for September 29
suppose that you are one of those rare individuals who is fabulously
wealthy. It is not necessarily obvious that everyone else would see
this. Your wealth might not be obvious — if you don’t spend it. What
kind of sign would others look for to tell if you are wealthy?
might look at your clothing.
Most men can tell a custom-made suit from one which comes just off
might also look at the car
you drive. If you’re tooling around in a top-of-the-line Mercedes,
it speaks of money.
course, they could always look at the
cash you spend. Particularly if you are generous with your money
in a visible way, it becomes pretty obvious.
contrast, if you hoard your wealth it’s likely that the rest the
world will not know that you are rich. If it doesn’t show, how could
they tell? Spending tells the world that you are rich. You have to
demonstrate it if they are to believe it.
Consider, then, God’s problem in communicating with us. What could
we tell about God just by looking around in our surroundings?
doesn’t take much in the way of observation — have you ever walked
under the stars in a desert night — to discover that God is
powerful. Whoever created all this must be such.
more observation will tell you that he is righteous, for we live in
a moral world. We believe certain things are intrinsically right,
and others are intrinsically wrong. We detect in the universe a
moral order which must come from a moral author.
believe in his power and his righteousness — but how about his
patience and mercy? Paul dealt with this question in writing to the
Now if God wants to demonstrate his wrath and reveal his power,
can't he be extremely patient with the objects of his wrath that are
made for destruction? Can't he also reveal his glorious riches to
the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for
glory--including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but
from the gentiles as well?
(Romans 9:22-24 ISV)
something: it is not contradictory for God to be righteous and
powerful and also be patient with those against whom his wrath
should be displayed. If he wants to do it that way, that’s his
business. It’s also his business, if he wants to, to reveal his love
and mercy to us. It’s his choice.
Communion reminds us that he has done just that. He has balanced
what is seen by all with what he has demonstrated in his grace at
the cross. He decided that you needed to know that God is powerful,
God is righteous — and God is merciful. He gave us communion as that
reminder of the grace he showed at the cross. He knows, as we
should, that men don’t need to be taught as much as they need to be
Contemplate: the measure of his suffering is the measure of his
love. You can measure his grace by the pain of the nails, the spear
in the side and the agony of dying a criminal’s death slowly and in
wretched torture. He gives you this day, in the form of the cup and
the bread, a reminder of his blood shed and his body broken for you.
He died, so that you might be forgiven. So as you partake this
morning, do so in a manner fitting of one who is remembering the
greatest sacrifice ever made. The Son of God died so that mankind
might live forever.