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Communion Meditations (2006)

Separation Anxiety

Originally delivered February 19

"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.' "Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets'; and He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.' "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

(Luk 13:24-28 NASB)

It is a sad, but often repeated fact:  there will be many at the Last Judgment who will be surprised to discover that their attendance in church (of course, the right church) does not mean that they are welcomed to the kingdom of God.  Such people will use as their defense the frequency with which they took Communion, and their regular attendance in teaching and worshiping.  It won’t work.  They are those who attend church but do not practice the faith.

How, then, can someone be a real participant in Communion?  What makes you “real?”  May I suggest some practical tests:

· Are you present at Communion with Christ, or not?  We know that wherever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there.  But are you with Him?  Do you sense the awe due the Lord God Almighty, and enter humbly?  Or do you think that this is just “going to church?”  Not all who participate are actually partaking; some will be just going through the steps, thinking this is sufficient.

· Do you discern the body and blood of Christ?  Your hands touch the bread; you see the wine.  But—in your mind’s eye—do you see the sacrifice He made for you?  Do you see His suffering on the Cross?  Our salvation was purchased at great price; one which is beyond our ability to match.  Is it there for you in Communion?

· Are you one who is a repentant sinner?  Do you bring to Him the ancient sacrifice, the broken and contrite heart?  Have you confessed your sins, and asked both forgiveness and help for whatever sins you have?

The world is like a stage, filled with actors.  We see the actions, but we cannot know the heart.  It is well to remember that we take this cup and eat this bread until He comes again. Let each of examine ourselves to see if we are a partaker or just a player.

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