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Communion Meditations (2023)



Originally scheduled for March 26

There is a certain amount of sense to an observation from George Bernard Shaw:
“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.

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