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.
“My heart is not
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
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.
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?
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
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.
“Hope in the
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
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.