We're doing a communion series--each month we talk about a different aspect of communion. Yesterday was about forgiveness; here are some thoughts:
We often talk about what we need to do in approaching communion--we need to confess our sin, we need to make our relationships right, we need to examine our hearts...all of these are good things, but I think they can cause us to put the emphasis on us, not God, when we approach the communion table.
We focus on what we need to do, instead of what Jesus did for us. The point becomes getting right with God, rather than accepting and living in God's love and faithfulness and grace.
We do come to the table as sinners in need of grace. But that grace comes not because of anything we do, but because of what Jesus did.
Jesus ate with sinners. He didn't tell them to get their lives together before inviting them. He confronted sin with compassion and mercy, not judgement.
I think we often fall into this trap of "grace, but..." thinking "yes, God forgives, but I'm supposed to..." Now I know God does call us to respond to His grace and follow his example of love. Following Him does bring challenges. But if we can't talk about His grace without talking about our responsibility, then I fear we miss the full impact of that grace.
Each celebration of the Lord's Supper is a fresh experience of the Gospel; for at the table, our host, the Lord Jesus Christ, meets us with compassion and open arms.
While they were eating, Jesus took break, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."