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Many Americans belong to a sports club — a place to lift weights,
run on the treadmill and hope that the image in the mirror isn't
really you. Such an establishment is one of the last few places in
America with a dress code. You will see signs indicating that proper
attire is required — usually proper means something like gym shorts
and a colorful T-shirt. You can go to most restaurants wearing
whatever you have, but you have to dress up to become hot and
Perhaps you hadn't thought of it this way, but communion has its
own dress code. It's just that it's not regarding clothing. The
dress code concerns itself with your attitudes as you partake of the
Lord's Supper. The first such item concerns equality — to be on
equal terms with one another. The early church had quite a problem
with this in Corinth. It seems those who are rich came early, ate
most of the food, drank most of the wine, leaving nothing for the
poor people who came last in line. That lack of concern for others
was a great problem. As you can see, communion in those days was a
large meal. Gradually the church solved this problem by making
communion a formal ritual. But the lesson still stands; we need to
approach the Lord's Supper with the sense that there is no one
favored nor diminished in standing before the Lord. We come as
equals to the foot of the cross.
Our next item is thanksgiving. Communion reminds us of what we
must be most grateful for — the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ
on the cross. Indeed, it may seem strange to you but we proclaim the
Lord's death in communion, not his resurrection. Why? It is because
his death makes all else possible. So it is that we should approach
communion with thanks in our heart for the tremendous sacrifice he
made for each of us. Examine yourself; do the words of your mind
express the gratitude which is proper for a memorial of the
sacrifice of Christ?
Finally there is self-examination. May I suggest to you that the
first place to start is with yourself; look on the inside for Idol
worship. Is this something which you hold to be higher than Christ?
Is there something which competes with him for your time, your
treasure, and your thoughts? If you proclaim his Lordship, should
you not make it clear by your actions that you needed?
Self-examination extends to others too. Is there someone in your
life who is unforgiven? Would you come before the King of Kings
harboring bitter hatred in your heart? Rather, as the Scripture
teaches us, we should forgive and seek restoration with such a
person. Christ himself saw that reconciliation between God and man;
surely we can seek reconciliation between man and man. Examine
yourself, seek out the hatred within you and doom it to destruction.
Communion — proper attire is required.