Manna
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Communion Meditations (2013)

Manna

 

Originally scheduled for July 28

If you go back into the Old Testament, particularly the book of Exodus, you will encounter the incident in which God rains manna from heaven down onto the Jews.  It’s a familiar point. Please recall that the amount of manna you got was sufficient only for the one next day — except on Friday night, where you would need two days to get you through the Sabbath. As you were not allowed to work on the Sabbath, this made some sense. I submit there are three lessons we can learn from this:

·         Lesson number one: you have to live by faith. Stocking up on manna just got you more maggots.

·         Lesson number two: God will provide just what you need — but probably not just what you want.

·         Lesson number three: if you suddenly get an abundance instead of just enough — that means you’re going to need it, and soon.

I suspect that last one is new to you. But it is true. God will provide, even if he provides more than you estimate you’re going to need. Communion is exactly such an abundance. Think about it this way:

·         The Jews got by for several hundred years with animal sacrifices; the cross greatly exceeds that. Why didn’t God continue with the system that seemed to work?

·         Modern folk like us think that a life of “good deeds” and “clean living” would be quite sufficient to satisfy the merciful God; what’s wrong with that?

So it’s clear that the sacrifice at the cross is distinctly superior to what we perceive to be our needs. It’s “over the top.” Why is it that God thinks we need it?

You are going to need it. There are two reasons:

·         You are going to die — and after that there is the destination of heaven or hell.

·         You are going to give account to the sinless and perfect God of how you propose to meet his sinless and perfect standard of righteousness. The only thing that works is the atonement given at the cross.

In the meanwhile we are admonished to have communion regularly. Why? Because you need to be reminded of the overwhelming abundance of God’s love and sacrifice displayed at the cross. You do not know the day of your death; therefore it is wise to be prepared every day. As you take this communion, see in the bread the body given for you. See in the cup the blood shed for you. God is giving you the answers to the only final exam you really need to pass. Remember, when he gives you an abundance, it means you’re going to need it. Communion is an abundance of mercy.

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