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Communion Meditations (2024)

 

Like a Trumpet

Isaiah 58:1-4

Originally scheduled for July 14


 
Being a prophet of God in the Old Testament days was not an easy job. If you notice Isaiah’s instructions here, there are two rather nasty looking points:
·      He was not to hold back, but rather let it rip.
·      He was there to tell the house of Jacob their sins.
 
Why such a strident reminder? Because the leaders of Israel were giving everyone a good impression of being righteous. It was such a good impression they themselves believed it. Just to look at them, appearances would tell you:
·      They are in the temple every day. Every day they seek the Lord.
·      Appearances would show them to have clean hands, a righteous people.
·      They loved to be in the presence of the Lord.
·      You didn’t see them neglecting the judgment of God.
So, from their point of view, convinced of their own righteousness, they asked God: “why aren’t you listening?”
 
God’s reply is simple: He points out the results of their worship. On the day that they are supposedly fasting, they seek their own pleasure. Worse yet, they will press their own workers. It’s pretty much impossible to be humbly fasting and throwing a party at the same time.
 
It gets worse. The day of “fasting” is a day of quarreling and fistfights. God then asks the question: do you expect to behave like this and be heard in the courts of heaven? The question answers itself.
 
The Christian has a much lighter burden when it comes to ceremonial law than the ancient Jew did. There is only one recurring ritual; communion. It’s bad enough when we sit there and ho-hum our way through communion. It’s much worse when we think of ourselves as being wonderfully righteous because we take communion. This is the root cause of the command to examine yourself. It’s a time to humble yourself before God.
 
Humility is basically a form of honesty; you acknowledge what God already knows. It is the regular weekly maintenance of the human being for his spiritual welfare. Therefore, take an honest look into your life and see if there’s some improvement to be made. Commit the problem to Him. Then, take the reminders of his body and his blood, given so that you might be forgiven that which you repent.

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