Originally scheduled for December 16
The Book of Lamentations is not very much
studied in these days. It was written by the prophet Jeremiah, and
appears to be a series of laments about the sinfulness of the Jews
and the consequent destruction of Jerusalem by the forces of
Nebuchadnezzar. As you might guess, in the original Hebrew the book
is quite clearly a series of poems. It is therefore to be
interpreted poetically, like the Psalms. Its appeal is not one of
intellectual theology, but the agony of the heart.
In the middle of these poems is a selection of
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the
LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never
fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If you will look at the last phrase, you will
see that it is the inspiration for the classic Christian hymn,
Great Is Thy Faithfulness. In all of Jeremiah’s bemoaning of the
fate of the Jews, there is this ray of hope. In the middle of God’s
punishment there is an appeal to God’s mercy. From the very
beginning of time it has been God’s plan to redeem mankind with his
atonement on the Cross. (See Ephesians 1:4). The Lords compassions
never fail, even to the point of having his Son go to the Cross.
Communion reminds us of this. If you have come
to communion this day looking for hope, you are in the right place.
Reminds us of the
sacrifice which Christ made on the Cross. In the bread we see his
body; in the cup, his blood. This is the price that God was willing
to pay in his compassion for you. You are God’s child and therefore
God will have mercy upon you. Communion reminds you of that mercy.
Repentance is required
for this forgiveness. He doesn’t want to see if you can hide your
sin from him; you can’t. But he wants you to bring it out
into the open with him. He sees the wound, but wants you to open the
wound so he can cleanse it.
Renewal of our fellowship
with him is the natural result. By joining in the fellowship around
the communion table, we not only renew our ties to each other but
also our fellowship with God. Adult children know this; when they go
home, they feast.
As you partake this morning, examine yourself
and see if there is something you need to bring forward which is now
standing between you and God. Do not worry about whether or not he
will forgive you. Today is a new day and his mercies are new every