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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

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1st Corinthians 10:21

Originally scheduled for December 2

One of the great temptations to the modern church is to adjust our practices and doctrine to conform to those ideas that are current in our world. If you need an example, ask yourself how long ago was it that homosexuality became perfectly acceptable to the church, instead of a sin. We like the idea that the church is just like folks; accepting the same things and doing the same things. There is no sense of that in the Scripture. We are told to be “in the world, not of the world.” Permit me three examples.

·         The world tells us that any form of sex is acceptable as long as it is consensual. The world sees no reason to think that there is a problem with adultery, or with sex before marriage, or with homosexuality. And they proclaim to everyone that, if you don’t think like this, you are some strange, demented person burning with hatred for people who don’t believe the same things you do. The rule for the Christian is no sex outside of marriage, and fulfilling love within.

·         The world tells us that “whoever dies with the most toys, wins.” The church tells us that “whoever dies with the most toys, dies.” It’s an interesting question for the Christian: what would you do if you had the money to buy a Mercedes? Is that the top priority for your funds?

·         Then there is the sin of Satan: pride. “I will be like the Most High.” Do you go through life with the express intent of being better than anybody else? Are you one of those people who goes through life telling the rest of the world just what a genius you are? There is the essence of pride: I am better than you are. You cannot look down on others and look up to God at the same time.

Unfortunately, one common reaction to this problem is simply to do both. You behave like a citizen of the world on Saturday night and then come to church on Sunday looking as pious as can be. This goes by the name of hypocrisy — and you don’t like it when you see it. Are you condemning that which you are? Perhaps more to the point, do you think God doesn’t know this? Or do you think that he doesn’t care? Honesty starts from within the human being.

Communion has a very important significance in this. It is not just a ritual; it is a proclamation of what you believe. If you partake in communion you are proclaiming:

·         The sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

·         The salvation that that sacrifice is brought to you, by the atonement.

·         With that salvation you proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ as well.

At communion, you proclaim which side you are on — you’re either on the world’s side or on the side of Jesus Christ. There is no fence to sit on. Before you take communion, honesty is required. Especially, honesty with yourself. Look within; examine yourself and partake.

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