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Communion Meditations (2017)

Cheerful Sinner

Luke 5:4-11

Originally scheduled for October 8

I suppose there are many different kinds of sinners, but let’s take a look at three different kinds this morning.

·         First, there is the legalist. He follows all the rules, including some of his own imagination. But have you ever noticed that the legalist always knows that he is holy? There is no doubt in his mind that he is a true man of God.

·         Second, there’s the hypocrite. He looks like a man follows all the rules but is not. Deep down inside, he knows that he’s not holy.

·         Then there is the subject of today’s communion meditation: the cheerful sinner. He doesn’t know if he is holy or not, and he doesn’t think it’s something he can really achieve. He does the good thing when he has the chance; he avoids the really serious sins and for the rest he acknowledges that he is a sinner and that Christ as Lord and Savior.

In this passage we see Peter as just such a cheerful sinner. This instance gives you an idea of the reaction the cheerful sinner makes to meeting the awesome God.

·         At first, he does what he’s told. He follows instructions — in this case expecting no better results than he had gotten on his own. He’s not sure this is going to work, Lord, but he’s willing to try.

·         Then comes the dawn. His first reaction is to ask Christ to leave. He understands that no sinner can live in the presence of the holy God. It’s his lake so he asks Christ to leave. Note, please, that Jesus pays absolutely no attention to this whatsoever. He has — if you’ll pardon the expression — bigger fish in mind.

·         Evidently Peter is distracted by the fact that Christ has called them to evangelism. But his reaction is that of a cheerful sinner: when called, he leaves everything and follows his Lord.

Communion, in a very real sense, is the place where we meet the holy God. We meeting in the Lord’s supper, for our Lord said “this is my body.” The sense of that is debated, but the Christ behind it is not. We certainly medium during communion in our attitude of prayer and reverence; and if circumstances permit, in the contemplation we should have for this. If we really look this thing in the face, with true regard for the facts we find that we have met the awesome God.

·         He is awesome because he went to a horrible death on the cross for you.

·         He is awesome because he rose from the dead — and told us it would happen before hand.

·         He is awesome — and will be visibly so — because he is coming again to judge the living and the dead.

Therefore, know that this is Christ you are meeting in communion. When you take and eat, do so in awe and reverence of the mighty God. As you do, do it in remembrance — and anticipation.

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