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Communion 2011

Gym Clothes

Originally scheduled for Jun 12

Many Americans belong to a sports club — a place to lift weights, run on the treadmill and hope that the image in the mirror isn't really you. Such an establishment is one of the last few places in America with a dress code. You will see signs indicating that proper attire is required — usually proper means something like gym shorts and a colorful T-shirt. You can go to most restaurants wearing whatever you have, but you have to dress up to become hot and sweaty.

Perhaps you hadn't thought of it this way, but communion has its own dress code. It's just that it's not regarding clothing. The dress code concerns itself with your attitudes as you partake of the Lord's Supper. The first such item concerns equality — to be on equal terms with one another. The early church had quite a problem with this in Corinth. It seems those who are rich came early, ate most of the food, drank most of the wine, leaving nothing for the poor people who came last in line. That lack of concern for others was a great problem. As you can see, communion in those days was a large meal. Gradually the church solved this problem by making communion a formal ritual. But the lesson still stands; we need to approach the Lord's Supper with the sense that there is no one favored nor diminished in standing before the Lord. We come as equals to the foot of the cross.

Our next item is thanksgiving. Communion reminds us of what we must be most grateful for — the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Indeed, it may seem strange to you but we proclaim the Lord's death in communion, not his resurrection. Why? It is because his death makes all else possible. So it is that we should approach communion with thanks in our heart for the tremendous sacrifice he made for each of us. Examine yourself; do the words of your mind express the gratitude which is proper for a memorial of the sacrifice of Christ?

Finally there is self-examination. May I suggest to you that the first place to start is with yourself; look on the inside for Idol worship. Is this something which you hold to be higher than Christ? Is there something which competes with him for your time, your treasure, and your thoughts? If you proclaim his Lordship, should you not make it clear by your actions that you needed?

Self-examination extends to others too. Is there someone in your life who is unforgiven? Would you come before the King of Kings harboring bitter hatred in your heart? Rather, as the Scripture teaches us, we should forgive and seek restoration with such a person. Christ himself saw that reconciliation between God and man; surely we can seek reconciliation between man and man. Examine yourself, seek out the hatred within you and doom it to destruction.

Communion — proper attire is required.

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