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Communion Meditations (2013)

Steps in Communion

 

Originally scheduled for November 24

There is popular set of books available on the market these days with titles like Brain Surgery for Dummies. The authors of these books break down what appears to be a complicated process into simple steps with the hope that you will buy the book knowing that even a dummy can do it. The method is fairly simple: break things down into simple steps. Communion has its simple steps as well.

Recognition

It begins with the recognition that each and every one of us, as an individual, is a sinner. If you don’t do this, you are in essence denying that there is a problem in your life with sin. If there is no problem, you don’t take steps to fix it. So this part is very necessary.

We must also recognize that everybody else is a sinner too. That carries a couple of implications as well. Since we know that we are both sinners, we have every reason to refrain from judging the other person. Your mother taught you that the pot should never call the kettle black. More than that, there is an aspect of “do unto others” that we must practice. We must be ready to forgive those who have sinned against us — because we are sinners just like them.

Confession

You might as well confess your sins to God; he knows all about them anyway. He just wants you to acknowledge it. It’s an aid to humility; more than that, it means that you don’t think God is so stupid that he doesn’t see the obvious.

You are also required to confess your sins to others. This has two beneficial effects. The first is that the others get an honest opinion of who you really are. The second is, now that they have that honest opinion of who you really are, they are much more willing to help.

Finally, it sometimes occurs at the confession must be made in public in church. Let me give you an example: if a member of the staff of your church has an adulterous affair, confession is necessary for forgiveness. Public confession is necessary so that the church will not conclude that adultery is permissible.

Repentance

Faith without works is dead. If you change your ways in repentance, the Lord is disposed to look upon you with kindness and mercy. If you don’t change your ways, he’s inclined to look at you as a hardened sinner. So follow through on recognition and confession; repent. You will find that this is an excellent cause of humility and fosters a right relationship with God.

Well, there’s the summary. Do you have anything to think about today before you take the cup and eat the bread?

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