Originally scheduled for January 1
There seems to be something intrinsic in human nature that we
must have some sort of an occasion before we take stock of things.
We don’t do it at random; rather, taking stock has a cause.
Often it’s a surprise. We take stock when something big happens. You
can imagine the self-examination going on in Washington on the day
after Pearl Harbor. They were counting beans, bullets and bombs.
· It also happens when
something big happens to you — for example, when the baby is born. A
failure to purchase enough diapers can be a major crisis,
particularly at 3 o’clock in the morning. You knew it was coming;
· It also
occurs at times honored by custom and tradition. These things are
someone else’s solution to a problem.
A customary time to take
stock. They are more numerous than you think. The most obvious one
is the one we are celebrating today, New Year’s Day. We look at the
calendar and it starts over. So we make resolutions — more often
made and kept. But it is a recognized time were taking stock of
ourselves and deciding what were going to do to improve things.
Other such times are imposed by authority. You tend to take a good
look at your finances around April 15, for example. And most of us
also participate in an annual review process at our employer. But
perhaps you didn’t think about it, but communion is a time to take
stock as well.
How should we do that?
First, remember what Christ did for you. His sacrifice on the cross
paid the price of atonement for your sins — and thus granted you
salvation. At the very least you should be thankful. Extend that to
see whether or not your life follows the pattern that He gave you.
· Then remember the price
that was paid. The only truly innocent man to walk this planet was
nailed to a cross at the will of the religious authorities of the
time. He went voluntarily; he gave up his life voluntarily; he
suffered voluntarily. This too is worth your remembering.
Then examine yourself, and see if there is anything of which you
need repentance and forgiveness.
Let the bread remind you of his
body, broken for you. Let the cup remind you of his blood, shed so
that you might have forgiveness. Let these drive your
self-examination and repentance. Then partake in a worthy manner.