Friday, August 18, 2006

Communion Meditation-Worthily

The same sun that brings life and growth to the corn in the fields also bakes hard dry lake and river bottoms. This is an astonishing fact. The sun is a good and glorious gift but it can do immense harm.

The solution is in the water. If there is water present, then the sun can do his appointed job towards blessing. He brings life, growth, health, plenty, beauty and a plentiful harvest. But if there is no water present, he brings death, decay, sickness, want, ugliness and fruitlessness.

So, which is it, we wonder? Is our son growing us into glory or hardening us into uselessness?
Each week we eat this ritual meal, a representation of the power of God, the Son of God shining on us in all of his effulgent glory and might. The sacrament presents the promises of God to us. But for some, the promised blessing never arrives. The waters of life are absent and the radiant glory of the Son produces hardness of heart rather than fullness of joy. So, we must eat and drink but according to the revelation of God in Christ.

Primarily, I am speaking about confession of sin, repentance, and walking in the newness of life according to the Holy Spirit. This is not at all perfectionism. The fact that we must continually confess our sins and turn away from our will to His shows that we are not perfect. But for those who will not confess, who will not repent, who will not learn and obey the will of the Lord, then this glorious feast is a great danger. What is meant for life will bring hardness to your hard and waterless soul. The answer is not to refuse to eat but rather, to eat worthily, having confessed your sins honestly to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We confess our sins early in our service, as we ought to, so that we can draw near to God with clean hands and hearts, not fearing condemnation from Him who promises to forgive and receive us. For those of you who do so, amen, do not grow fearful at such frightening words as these.
I make mention of the dangers again here only for those who are not honest, who have perhaps deceived themselves, that a little tolerated sin here and there will do no harm, that a little hypocrisy is common to us all, that go through our confession of sin in a lifeless mechanical fashion, who believe that a short drought does not make dry lake bottoms.

O foolish man, O foolish woman, O foolish child and slow to learn, when will you turn from your folly? Confess your secret sins now, turn from your folly now, and come to the waters of life, the life giving Spirit and so eat and drink life and health and peace.

Let us take a moment now to confess any remaining sins and so come to Christ as the forgiven body of Christ, without hypocrisy, resting upon the grace of Christ and trusting in His life giving promises to us.

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