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Communion Meditations (2006)

Waiting Lounge

Originally delivered May 28

It is a familiar site to the business traveler:  the airport flight lounge.  Look around and see the people who will soon be on board your flight.  Some are going away; the others going home.  Some have emotional reasons for the flight—the joy of marriage, the grief of a funeral.  Others fly only for business.  Some might even think this the flight to a new life.  Some are going home to the same life.  You can’t tell by looking, but they are there.

Watching the congregation prepare for Communion is like that.  Behind the sober faces there are many reasons for coming to the Lord’s Supper.  Some genuinely hunger and thirst for righteousness, and here they are filled with the righteousness of Christ, our atoning sacrifice.  Some are sick, in mind or body or heart, and seek the Healer of all.  Some are alone, even desolate, and seek the only Comforter. 

Others see it more routinely.  He is the Master; I am His servant—where else would I be found than at His table?  He is the Creator, I am the creature—and in my Creator I find purpose and joy.  But no matter what our reasons, it is a risky business to be at the Lord’s Supper.

Risky?  The God who weighs the hearts of men knows the fraud from the true.  Paul tells us that there are those who are sick or even dead because they slighted the Lord’s Supper.  It is not wise to try to deceive the Living God.

The question of Communion is this:  while I can see many reasons why I would come to Him at His table, why does He come to me?  It certainly is not for my own virtue or worthiness; even the best of us are sinners.  No, it is not my holiness that calls Him to us.  It is not our virtue and righteousness that calls Him, it is His love and mercy.  Communion is for my benefit:

· First, that I might know the mercy of God.  I do not deserve it, yet still He bids me come.

· Next, that I might know the love of God—and grow in it.

· Finally, that I might know who He truly is—to the increase of my humility.

I cannot earn or deserve this; but I can reverence it.  How?

· I will acknowledge Him for Who He is.  I will praise His greatness and give thanks for His love and mercy so freely given at the Cross.

· I will confess who I am as well; who I am and what I have done—and then recognize that I cannot deserve His mercy.

· Indeed, like the tax collector of old, I will ask, “Lord, be merciful to me, the sinner.”

Communion in the church is like that waiting lounge.  Some are here in joy; some in admiration; some in pain; some, not really sure of anything but that they need to be here.  Communion is the flight lounge of the church; we remember His death until He comes again.  On that day the church, His people, will take flight—for what is hoped for will have arrived.

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