Originally scheduled for July 29
Have you ever had an antique piece of furniture
in rather poor condition? If the piece is valuable enough, or has
precious memories associated with it, you are likely to want to get
it restored. Some of you will want to do the restoration yourself;
others will take it to a professional. But the object is the same:
the restoration of something precious.
In the church there are two kinds of
We speak of restoring a position — as
in, "he's in a position to help." Sin puts you out of position with
God; when that happens, you need to get back to the position you
More important is the restoration of
a relationship. This could be our relationship with God, or could be
our relationship with another human being. Here too, sin put you out
of a relationship that you should have. Sometimes our relationships
Restoration is not easy. It requires work; it
requires sacrifice and it requires humility.
In a way Communion is a formal restoration of
our position and relationship to God. When we confess our sins,
repent and accept the grace offered to us symbolically in Communion,
we are being restored.
We are being restored to our position
as children of God, members of the divine household. In that
position we are privileged to intercede on behalf of others with the
We are being restored in our
relationship to God as well. The basis of that relationship is love;
sin disrupts love.
This is not something we could do on our own.
Our restoration is the result of His work and His sacrifice — but it
does require our humility.
There is also a sense of physical restoration
in Communion. We take it "until He comes." Every time we take
Communion we proclaim our belief that Christ will return in bodily
form someday — and that we, in a new bodily form, physically
restored, will rise to greet him. To take Communion is to proclaim
that we believe in the resurrection of the dead, just as we believe
in the resurrection of Christ.
Until then? Keep the faith. Remember that you
are a child of God, one in a position to intercede on behalf of
others. To do that, keep your relationship right with God. Examine
yourself, and partake in a manner worthy of a child of God.