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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Lamentations

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 well-known verses.

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.

(Lamentations 3:21-23)

 

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. Communion

·         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 morning.

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