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Communion Meditations (2012)


Luke 18:9-14

The most difficult type of airplane landing is that which occurs on an aircraft carrier. It looks difficult because it is. If the night is dark enough, and the storm is wild enough and the deck is pitching enough then the pilots will tell you this is the moment you find out whether or not you really know how to fly that airplane.

The secret is in the approach. The glide path must be very close to exactly right; the angle on the nose of the aircraft must be right and you must touch down at exactly the right spot. The approach is everything.

We see that same phenomenon — the approach is everything — in one of Christ's parables.

Luke 18:9-14 NASB  And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:  (10)  "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  (11)  "The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  (12)  'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'  (13)  "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'  (14)  "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


What is our approach to the altar of God? We don't normally see this done publicly as the ancients did, but we have our own ways, mentally, of approaching God.

·         Some of us approach with gratitude. We should be thankful for what God has given us. The mistake comes when we assume that God's generosity to us is a sign that he regards us as somehow special. If God has blessed you, that doesn't make you wonderful. It makes you blessed.

·         Others approach with penitence. We come to claim the forgiveness of sin as our Lord instructed us. We remember his sacrifice — and that perforce means that we remember our sin.

We must remember that the Lord's Supper commemorates Christ's sacrifice for our sins. If we are to take it in a worthy manner we should at least give thanks. Then we may ask for forgiveness and the acceptance of our repentance. The most important event in human history was our Lord sacrifice on the Cross. Remember it with thanksgiving and penitence.

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