Practice Like You Play
Originally scheduled for
Would you like to
learn all about men? The easy way is quite simple: manage a Little
League team. The boys on the team are just miniatures of the man you
will encounter later. Their hearts, wants and needs are very similar
to those of grown men, just better disguised.
I bring this to your
attention to remind you of what you're Little League coach said:
"you play like you practice, you practice like you play." In the
communion we are about to receive some of you will be practicing.
You won't be serious about it, because you think there's no need.
But consider well what that really means:
You sin against the
body of Christ. That means you offend the unity of the church, for
the body of Christ is the church. Your actions would then tend to
split the church.
You sin against the
blood of Christ. That means that you take lightly the blood that he
shared at Calvary.
You may think that
if something important came up, you could always do it right. Play
like you practice, practice like you play.
How do you do this?
Simply put, we are to judge ourselves before taking communion.
Judgment is going to happen; the easiest way for it to happen is for
us to judge ourselves. In that way we examine our own sins, and we
repent of them. But do not neglect another form of examination; the
sins of others against you. It is quite clear from the Scripture
that your being forgiven depends completely on your willingness to
forgive others. So as you examine yourself, think of those who have
offended against you – and bring your forgiveness to the Lord.
If you want to do it
the hard way, do nothing. The Lord will then judge you. He will take
such steps as are necessary to get your attention and correct your
behavior. This is much less pleasant than examining yourself. It's
also an indication that you do not take communion seriously, or are
just lazy. But when he disciplines you, be sure to listen carefully.
He is doing this for your own good, and you should accept it.
For if you do not
accept his discipline, tragedy awaits. Just going to church each
week doesn't make you a real Christian. You may find yourself
condemned with those who do not believe and defy the Lord. Defy the
Lord? Yes, ignoring his judgment is defying the Lord. So I ask you:
examine yourself, in all seriousness, and seek forgiveness and