Originally scheduled for January 4
The Christmas season is just behind us. Permit
me to pose to you a hypothetical question which may give us some
insight on gifts, giving and motivation.
Let us suppose that you have been trading gifts
with a relative for many years. This year, however, you did not
receive a gift from her. It’s most likely that you’re not really
concerned about the value of the gift but rather the motive for its
absence. There are certain possibilities.
It might be just a simple shipping
error. This could mean that three blocks away from you there is a
93-year-old lady whose last name is similar to yours who is
wondering why anyone would ship her a trampoline.
It’s also possible that someone did
open the present at your house, thinking it was addressed to them.
This is usually found out when your son says to you, “this looks
like a shirt dad would wear.”
The one most feared is that you now
have an angry relative somewhere in the country, who is just waiting
for you to call and ask what happened so that she can chew you out.
Some variant of Murphy’s Law says that you will have absolutely no
idea what she’s talking about.
Christ has the opposite problem. He has given
you a great gift, the gift of salvation. He knows you have it but he
still has motive to ask you to do something about it.
First, he wants you to remember his
sacrifice that bought your salvation. This, of course, is what
communion is for.
He wants you to remember who gave it
to you. The giver is Christ, not the church. The church is the
delivery mechanism, but Jesus is the giver.
He wants you to use this gift. This
is a gift which changes your life. It frees you from the guilt of
sin; it tells you that ultimately you will live and reign with him.
These things, and many others, are meant to change the way you live.
Communion, in a sense, is the gift card that
goes with his sacrifice. How does he want you to use his gift?
First, remember that you are not
entitled to this — it is a gift.
Next remember that he paid for this
gift with his body and his blood. This is not a ceremonial trifle,
but the heart of the Gospel.
Therefore, he asks you to examine
your self at communion so that you may repent of whatever sins you
have. He wants not just verbal repentance, but he wants repentance
to show in your life. Repent is an action verb.
Therefore, do not take communion lightly but
rather remember what it cost and what you should do with it.