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Communion Meditations (2006)

His and Ours

Originally delivered November 12

It is a fact, and an example:  our Lord, during his Passion, forgave all He could. 

· He forgave those who crucified Him, saying “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  There is no sense that He waited for them to ask; no sense that they had to show remorse; the ignorant oppressor received pardon.

· He forgave those along the way.  Do you remember the two thieves crucified with Him?  One had but to ask, and he received paradise.  Jesus probably had never met him before; yet the forgiveness was freely given.

· He also forgave—us.  His sacrifice was for our sins, before we were even born.

It seems reasonable, therefore, that He should ask us to imitate Him in this.

· There are those who oppress without knowing it—the unfeeling clerk at the head of the line; the driver who thinks he’d the only one on the road, the socially graceless who would blush if they really knew what they were doing.  Do you imitate your Lord, and forgive such as these?

· There are those we meet along the byways of life—not anonymous faces but those who come into our lives from nowhere and seem to vanish in the same direction, leaving behind and impression, but not a name.  Some are rude and offensive; but tell me, have you ever been that way to a total stranger?  Forgive as you would be forgiven.

· Finally there are those who are in your church.  They hold to the things you hold as near and dear; they share your joys and sometimes tears—and once in a while they do something which offends you.  It is an offense which is often harbored; rather, it should be brought up so it can be cleaned out.  Forgive, as you are forgiven.

So I submit to you that as you take this cup and eat this bread, you receive it as a reminder of the Lord’s gracious forgiveness.  Let it also be a spur to your own.

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