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"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want
them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 NASB)
In our attempt to be reverent at
communion we sometimes forget that this is not a solitary
experience, but a common meal shared by all Christians. May I
suggest to you today that you use the time of self-examination to
think about those Christians you need to forgive. Most of us have a
few, but find it difficult to express our forgiveness for a variety
of social interaction reasons. This should not be; we are commanded
to treat them like we would be treated — and we would like to be
Likewise, there are those we wish would forgive us —
bury the hatchet, so to speak. It is sometimes surprising to find
this to be the case, but there are grudges and old offenses that
fester for years. This should not be. We should at least have the
courage to ask forgiveness.
Take a look at yourself
from the point of view of those around you. Think about how they
think about you.
Are you known as the kind of person who forgives easily and quickly?
Or are you the stern sort, unwilling to be merciful?
Perhaps you’re the one that needs to ask forgiveness. Think about
how other people would like you to do this. Should you wrap yourself
in self-righteousness, or should you appeal to the unity of the
church in Christ?
Often enough, the one who makes the first move towards unifying the
church is the one who loves Christ the most. Think how your Lord
uses your actions — or lack of them.
The church is not a
stew pot to be boiling over with bubbles of faction and argument. It
is not a collection of robots of uniform opinion either. Rather it
is an organization designed to be one as Christ and the Father are
one. That occasionally requires us to act in forgiveness as well as
We are to be united in service to Christ; one of
the functions of communion is to remind us that we are to be one
body. As part of communion we are to examine ourselves. Let our
self-examination this morning consider how we might promote the
oneness of the church. Communion celebrates His sacrifice; He wants
us to be one.