Communion Meditations (2024)


If It Ain't Broke

Originally scheduled for June 30

Acts 11:19-30
Stories about our troubles tend to take a lot of words; stories of success are much more simple. This is a success story.
Let’s review the history. A persecution had broken out in Jerusalem against the church, and many Christians left the city. A goodly number migrated to Antioch, the third-largest city in the Roman Empire. (A parallel in our time might be persecution in New York City, with the migration to Chicago.) Some of those who migrated preached the gospel to the Greek citizens of Antioch. This perturbed the church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to investigate.
Barnabas’ reaction to the situation shows his good sense.
·      He saw the grace of God in action. People were being saved; in the process people were being given the forgiveness of God.
·      He therefore counseled the church at Antioch to continue to do what they had been doing; to stay faithful.
·      To further their effort, he (and Saul) stayed for a year, assisting in the teaching of the church.
·      This resulted ultimately in a gift to the church in Jerusalem to help alleviate the famine that was coming.
In other words, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
If by some act of God Barnabas were to appear in our church this morning, it would be most pleasing if he were to have the same reaction. It would be most obvious at this time of our service in communion. He should see the grace of God in action — Christians repenting as they examine themselves, seeking and finding God’s forgiveness.
This would be a result of the faithful teaching of the church, proclaiming that Jesus saves. “We preach Christ, and him crucified.” Christ our atoning sacrifice is the consistent message of the church.
Communion is the visual lesson we see each time we take it. In the bread we see the body of Christ; in the cup, his blood, shed for our sins. In obedience to his command we do this in remembrance of him. The church has done this for thousands of years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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