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Communion Meditations (2013)

Room Temperature

Originally scheduled for June 9

Suppose you went about the room today taking everyone’s temperature with a thermometer. You would find that most of us are somewhere around 98.6°; a few this might be a bit higher with a fever. But he discovered someone with a temperature around 70° — in other words, room temperature – you would be forced to the conclusion that they were dead. Living human beings have temperature of around 98.6°; dead ones don’t.

But notice, please, that the temperature is just a symptom. If you take that body and heat is up to 98.6° that person does not suddenly come alive again. Heating up the body might fix the symptoms, but not the problem. May I suggest to you that this is somewhat of an analogy with regard to faith? The Scripture informs us that faith without works is dead. We all know this. So it should be obvious to us that going through the motions of taking communion without any real, living and working faith is nothing but an empty ritual.

Just what does it mean when you take communion?

·         First, it means that you believe in the death, burial and physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. You believe that this death atones for your sins, and that you have accepted that atonement.

·         Next, you believe that this is — in some sense – the body and blood of Christ. That implies that you wish to be like him; spiritually, you are what you eat. So this says you are trying to imitate Christ.

·         Finally, as we are told to do this in remembrance of him until he comes again, it means that you believe that he will return as he promised and bring with him judgment — four reward or condemnation, as deserved.

So this is serious business. How do we go about taking communion in a truly serious way? Paul gives us an outline in this passage:

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

(1 Corinthians 11:27-32 NASB)

 

May I point out two things:

·         First, you are to examine yourself. Take stock of your life, see where you have failed, ask forgiveness for it and also ask for the Lord’s help in keeping it away from you.

·         Second, you are inviting the Lord’s discipline in your life. If you tell them you have a problem, you should expect him to help you overcome that problem. He does this by his loving discipline.

Therefore, you should be completely truthful in your self examination — and expect appropriate discipline to help you in your failings. Whom the Lord loves, he disciplines. If he disciplines you, then, considered a sign of his love.

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