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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Floods

Originally scheduled for May 23

So the story goes: an elderly saint dies and goes to heaven. Upon arrival, his guardian angel asks him if there is anything special they could do to welcome him. “Well, I have always wanted to give a public talk about my experiences in the Johnstown flood. If you could arrange an audience for that I would really appreciate it.” So the angel gets to work and soon the day arrives. 50,000 people are waiting for him to talk. Just before the man steps onto the speaker’s platform, the angel takes him aside and tells him, “I think you ought to know — Noah is in the audience.”

Many of us had a similar feeling to that speaker. Have you ever been at a church event where people stood up and gave their testimonies? It often happens that the testimonies go from better to worse. When it comes time to call on Joe Average Christian, he finds his testimony is rather tame compared to those he’s heard already. You can feel rather inadequate when listening to someone else’s testimony; you obviously had no idea how to be such a wicked sinner. Sometimes, telling testimonies is a race to the bottom.

 

Let’s look at the facts. If you really want to see a sinner, all you need to do is look in your bathroom mirror. We are all, each and every one of us, sinners. If someone tells you they are a Christian they just told you they are a sinner. The important question is not, “what kind of sinner are you?” The important question is, “are you a sinner?” Please note that this is a “Yes/No” question.

This means, of course, that all of those of us who answer “yes” are in need of a Savior. Because of this, God has set before us the same covenant to apply to all of us. There are no such things as “worthy sinners.” Each and every one of us gets the same offer: the covenant of Christ. It’s binary; take it or leave it.

 

This covenant, Christ tells us, is a covenant of blood (see Matthew 26:28). It is by Christ’s blood that we are forgiven of our sins. It is therefore altogether fitting that we should remember this sacrifice on a regular basis — it is the core of the faith. So we gather and take this cup and this bread. The cup is for his blood; the bread, his body. We are told to do it in remembrance of him until he comes again. It is the center of the faith; it is the most serious thing we do in worship. Therefore, examine yourself and see if your sin stands between you and God. Repent; ask forgiveness and plan such reparation as might be needed. Then, partake in a worthy manner.

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