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Communion Meditations (2019)



Originally scheduled for March 17

It’s a common problem with Christians: we put limits on what God can do. This in particular does include whether or not he is willing to forgive. You remember Peter asking Christ[1] how many times he should forgive? Christ’s reply shows us that we should be willing to forgive indefinitely many times — and that’s an imitation of our Heavenly Father. It’s a common limitation that we put on God; we think he can only forgive so much.

One way we think of this is to imagine that there is a limit on the total amount of grace God is willing to provide to the human race. We view it as a competition — I really must be holier than thou. Only a certain number will make it to heaven. Other times we look at it as being that God’s grace will run out at some particular time, having forgiven enough of us. We want to be the last person who grabs the rope ladder on the blimp of grace as it leaves.

More commonly, we imagine that God has a limit on the amount of grace he will grant to me. Have you ever heard someone tell you that what they have done is beyond what God could forgive? Or that they’ve done it so often that God has stopped forgiving them? You might consider the example of John Newton. He’s the man who wrote Amazing Grace. He was a slave trader. The truth is that great sinners make great saints.

God is not Ebenezer Scrooge. However,

·         He is the God of multiplication. Do you remember that little incident with the seven pieces of bread and two fish, with which Christ fed five thousand[2] ? If he can multiply bread and fish, he can multiply grace. As the old hymn At Calvary puts it —

Mercy there was great and grace was free

Pardon there was multiplied to me

·         He is the God of transformation. He transformed water into wine[3] . He will also transform the evil that we are, for he knows how to turn evil into a greater good.

·         He is the God of life, the one who raised Christ from the dead. He is the one who holds the keys to heaven and hell. It is by Christ’s love and authority that we are saved.

Have you ever noticed that God never “tries” to do anything? He just does it. He has implemented communion for us that we might remember what he did. The atonement that Christ gave us on the cross is the price of our salvation. He paid that price, not us. And at his command we are to remember the price he paid. In the bread we are to see his body broken for us; in the cup we are to see his blood. Examine yourself, fallen child of Adam, repent and take this communion in a manner fitting to one who has experienced God’s infinite grace.

[1] Matthew 18:21-22

[2] John 6:5-13

[3] John 2:1-11


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