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Communion Meditations (2012)

In Submission

Originally scheduled for May 20

There is a passage of Scripture in which it appears that wives are commanded to be in submission to their husbands. The passage ends with the comparison, "as the church is to Jesus Christ." The concept that a Christian wife should be in submission to her husband is extremely unpopular today. It is seldom preached. One unfortunate side effect of this fact is that we seldom hear of the submission of the church to Jesus Christ. I must leave to the listener the question of a wife's submission to her husband; but I would hope that there is no doubt that the church is to be in submission to Jesus Christ.

A Christian wife might well ask, "Why should I be in submission to my husband?" The church might ask the same question of Jesus Christ; the answers are quite clear.

·         First, we are in submission to Christ because he is our creator — both of the universe as a whole and the church in particular. Without Christ, the church does not exist.

·         It is Christ who purchased our salvation and forgiveness. If there is no salvation, of what use is the church?

·         Christ is the source of wisdom which guides the church. That alone is sufficient for submission; if you know who has the right answer, it makes sense to follow Him.

·         Finally, it is explicitly stated in the Scripture that all authority is given to Jesus Christ. We may safely presume that includes authority over the church. Thus the church should be in submission to him.

In communion we have a visible sign of the church is submission to Christ.

·         In communion we acknowledge his sacrifice on the cross.

·         By taking communion we proclaim ourselves be members of the community which has received salvation.

·         To do these things we have not invented our own ritual. Rather, even in acknowledging him as our Lord, we use the pattern that he set forth.

Being in submission to Jesus Christ carries with it certain implications. The most obvious one is that we are to obey his commands; if you call him Lord, you do what he says. He has given you his commands concerning this communion. You are to examine yourself, conducting yourself in repentance for your sins and seeking his strength as well as his forgiveness. Then, in accord with his command, you are to take communion "in a worthy manner." Let each of us examine himself, bringing our sins to the cross and then accepted the sacrifice which makes us whole.

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