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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Preparation

Originally scheduled for January 20

We are often told the significance of communion. Sometimes, however, it occurs to us to ask, “just how am I to prepare for communion?” David, in this very short Psalm, gives us a good model. Note, please, that this is primarily a conversation between David and God. It’s personal. God is, of course, a sufficient audience for anyone to talk to. You can say things to him that just can’t be said to anybody else — even those things that would embarrass you mightily were anyone else to know of them. So please, let us prepare ourselves for communion.

Verse 1.

“My heart is not proud.” The heart is the center of matters spiritual. It is important for us in our spiritual lives that we should not be proud, for, as CS Lewis once put it, pride is the “complete anti-God state of mind.” Primarily this means that we do not look down on others. Make no comparison with the man standing next to you. He may indeed be a terrible sinner, but what is that between you and God? Do not be self-righteous — remember the Pharisee and the tax collector.

“My eyes are not haughty.” Just as an aid to defeating your pride, remember that your eyes show what your heart wants. This may be simply a case of not looking at the short skirt of the cute girl next to you. A much worse case comes when you are haughty with the fake humility of those who are genuinely proud of being humble. Let your eyes express what your heart has to say — and look in the mirror once in a while.

“Great matters.” How often have you thought during communion of a series of improvements for the pastor’s sermon? Each of us is tempted at times to be an expert on things that are actually well above us or too difficult for us. Most of us know the vanity of an expert at everything — a critic without limits. Do you critique the sermon, or do you learn from it?

Verse 2.

“Composed and quieted my soul.” Communion is no time to allow your soul to be troubled by the anger and petty grievances of the day. You may think you have no control over this; anger just arises somehow. This is not true; you can willingly set it aside. You do not have to rehearse the petty grievances in your life. But to do this you must take charge of your own thoughts. Remember, communion is not a matter of life and death — it’s more important than that.

“Like a weaned child.” This is a great picture of mature Christianity. One who is mature in the faith is constantly relying on God alone. He is confident that God will provide his every need and basks in the love that is shown by our heavenly Father. Picture a young child crawling up in mom’s lap and curling up there. Not an infant looking to nurse, but a child confident of his mother’s love.

Verse 3.

“Hope in the Lord.” In communion, you proclaim the death of our Lord. In so doing you proclaim the resurrection of our Lord as well. But do you not see that when you proclaim the resurrection of our Lord, you proclaim your hope in your own resurrection — just as he has promised. In communion you claim the promises of a Christian, including eternal life. There is only one possible source for this — the Lord God Almighty.

But you don’t proclaim just the resurrection and life eternal; you proclaim all the blessings that his Fatherly care can provide in this world as well. The question is how you do this without a loudspeaker.

The answer is simply this: hope. Where do you put your confidence? How do you know everything’s going to turn out all right? This question arises when you put your hope in the things of this world, for this world cannot guarantee you how things will turn out at all. Rather, stop hoping in the things of this world; put your hope in Christ.

Communion is to remind us that Christ died for our sins. With that comes the hope with the resurrection and life eternal. Set your mind on things above; calm your soul and remember his great sacrifice.

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