This Sunday we are meeting at Mountain View at 4pm for our worship gathering. This is in place of our usual morning gathering at Phonics.
We will be witnessing the baptisms of various people and for the first time in an entire year, we will be taking communion together as a church.
We have refrained from taking communion together during this season of disconnection because of what the communion meal is and what it represents.
In order to prepare us for Sunday I want to encourage you to prepare your heart and then seek reconciliation with those whom you need to.
The communion meal puts us on level ground, because it reminds us that we all share the same fallen condition: we all fail, don’t add up, hurt others and walk around with a self-centered pride. In other words, we all sin. “We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And soberingly, “the wages of sin is death….” As we stand on level ground, we realize that we are not better than anyone else. Before God and His glory, we are the same.
But as those thoughts give way to despair, we look up and we see Jesus, our Savior taking off his garments of perfection and clothing himself with the garments of our filth. So, we are jolted with hope as we read a few words further in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death…..but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You see, Jesus, the Lord of the universe, with the deepest humility that the world has ever known, was nailed to a tree and breathed his last. And He did that, so that we could start breathing.
“We were dead in our sin…but God made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:1-5)
Jesus has died to make peace between us and God. And that peace we now share with God is a peace that we share with one another (Ephesians 2:13-22). For if all of us are united to Jesus through His death and resurrection, how can we not seek peace with one another? If we have been reconciled to God through the divine blood of Jesus, then how can we be content in not being reconciled to one another?
In taking communion we remember how Jesus said “this is my body which is given for you…” (Luke 22:19) So, as we take and eat, we do so, imaging the reality that we are now a part of Christ’s life; his body. The communion meal then is a picture of the unity we share in Jesus. This is why Saint Augustine famously called the communion meal the “bond of love.”
As we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection for us, we simultaneously become aware of those for whom Jesus died. He died for me. But as you eat, I remember, He died for you too.
So as we begin to move towards Sunday where we will celebrate new life through the waters of baptism, and remember Jesus’ death and resurrection through taking communion together — I encourage you to examine your heart (1 Corinthians 11:28) and to pursue reconciliation with anyone that you need to do so with (Matthew 5:23-24).
Sunday is going to be a celebration. I can’t wait. And I hope that our celebration is deeply rooted in the merciful unity we share in Jesus.
I hope to see you there! But if you are unable to attend for COVID-19 reasons, please let me know. Mike and I would love to drop off some communion elements at your house and pray for you. Or, you are free to come by our offices downtown and pick up some communion elements for yourself.
Much love to you all,