Originally scheduled for March 26
There is a certain amount of sense to an observation from George
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my
tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest
go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
Carpenters have a similar expression: measure twice, cut once.
We bring this to your attention because it is particularly relevant
at communion. Required as part of communion is self-examination. It
should be relatively obvious that self-examination should be done on
the basis of who you are today, rather than who you were a few
months or years ago. Self-examination is the basis of repentance;
the temptation is to lighten the load of repentance by repenting for
something you’ve already taken care of. It’s somewhat like repenting
for someone else’s sins; it can make you feel good, but it doesn’t
have any real effect.
How does someone fall into this error?
· One way is simply to
deny that the problem exists. “I haven’t changed.” You mean you were
perfect the last time you took communion, and you haven’t done
anything since? That’s not self-examination, that’s denial.
More commonly you just don’t think about it. As CS Lewis put it,
your objective is to “let sleeping worms lie.”
A bit more hypocritical, but most commonly practiced, is that you
are simply content with the kind of sinner you are. The problem with
this attitude is that while you are content, God is not.
So it is
that you are told to examine yourself every time you come to
communion. Communion includes communion with God; to see God you
must be pure in heart. He wants you to examine yourself and have
that lead to your repentance, sincere and honest. We would do well
to remember us King Solomon’s admonition:
When you vow a vow to
God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay
what you vow.
(Ecclesiastes 5:4 ESV)
So examine yourself
honestly this morning, and let this be the basis of your true
repentance. Then remember that your forgiveness came about because
of his body on the Cross, represented here by the bread. It came
about because of his blood shed for you, represented here by the
cup. Be honest in your self-examination; be pure in heart and take
the Lord’s Supper in spirit and in truth.