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Communion Meditations (2006)

Fellowship Offerings

Originally delivered May 14

There is a curious consistency—almost—in the Old Testament concerning offerings made to God.  Anything made of grain which was to be presented to the Lord was to be unleavened—for as our Lord used it, leaven (yeast) is symbolic of sinfulness.  Nothing made of grain was to have leaven it—absolutely nothing.

Except the fellowship offerings.  Called a “peace offering” in the King James (and NASB), this offering is one which is not brought in obligation to the Lord, or as atonement for sin, or any other required thing.  It is the offering of one who simply needs to express the peace God has planted in his life.  When God is doubly good to you, then a peace offering is the fitting gesture of the thankful heart, living in God’s own peace.  That offering had to be leavened. 

Fellowship—the word is also translated Communion—on our part means that we bring a fellowship offering which is inherently sinful, for we are sinners.  Nothing perfect can we do.  But our Lord knows that.  So He blesses the fellowship offering, for if He is to have fellowship with us, He knows that it will be with sinners.  Yet He knows we do not want to come to Him empty handed.  So He gives us the fellowship offering.

What might a Christian bring today, and why?

· Sometimes it is sheer joy.  When a child (or a grandchild) is born it is fitting to tell your Lord just how much joy is in your heart.  Bring a gift for the church; let it be the symbol of your commitment to raise that child in the faith.

· Sometimes it is a noteworthy occasion, such as a special anniversary.  When God blesses you with a wife who carries within her the beauty that only the saints of God can carry, it is fitting to tell the Lord that you are grateful.

· Sometimes it is at the end of a trial, such as a severe illness.  When He has been your Rock, your Guide and Friend, it is fitting to acknowledge Him as best you can.

Nothing that we could bring in the way of a gift, an offering, could be as perfect as He is.  But He knows that, and accepts from us the imperfect, for in Love’s eyes God sees little Christs, not big sinners.

Communion is a chance to present to your Lord such a fellowship offering.  We celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made, a sacrifice of all that He had—His life.  By this He is Lord and Savior.  What better time to bring to Him the greatest sacrifice you can make:  your life, dedicated to Him.  You might think that He would accept no such thing, for we are sinners.  Instead, he who would save his life will lose it, and he who loses his life (for Christ) will save it.  Bring it as your fellowship—your Communion—offering.  He is gracious and kind; He knows what it is to give all.  Even if all we have is sinful, He knows what it costs us.

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