Originally scheduled for December 6
Veterans of the military services will know that the word
“inspection” carries a particular meaning which is unique to the
An inspection may be something which is scheduled on a regular
basis, or announced before hand. However, it may also be something
which is a surprise. Both types of inspection occur, and they occur
Usually, an inspection is a very thorough process. The person or
unit being inspected can expect to have everything under their
control examined — no limits.
This system of inspection supports a purpose — namely, that the unit
in question is ready for combat. It is the business of the military
to fight wars and win them. You don’t win a war with unprepared
At communion we have a similar system: self-examination.
This too has a purpose. It is a much more serious one. The purpose
of self-examination is to turn you into a Christian worthy of taking
communion — and therefore one who is worthy to face the Day of
This is a regularly scheduled event. But there are surprise
inspections here as well. The world is always looking for a
hypocrite in Christian clothing.
Like the military inspection, this one should be thorough. Look for
sin through all parts of your life.
So before you partake this morning, you should look for sins of the
flesh (lust, gluttony), and sins of the world (envy and greed). Most
of all, you should look for sins of pride — Satan’s own downfall.
Then what? There is nothing for it but to repent and, as you can,
seek forgiveness. Some forgiveness sought often comes with
forgiveness given. Let the Lord know you are serious.
You are preparing yourself for life through the next week. So as you
go from this place, remember you are to live like a Christian for
the entire week. The world will conduct its surprise inspections on
you throughout that week. Be prepared for this; examine yourself.