Communion Meditation: Seated at the Table

We do quite a bit of standing and sitting in our service. And I want you to know that we do it all for a reason.

Earlier in the service we all stood to hear an assurance of pardon. Think about what’s happening at that moment of the service. We’ve just confessed sin. We’ve come, as it were, into the courtroom of the cosmic judge and we’ve pleaded guilty to all the charges of breaking his law. And once guilt has been established in court, the defendant stands. We stand in order to hear the verdict of the judge.

Two things never change in God’s courtroom—our plea is always guilty—and God’s verdict in Christ is always that we’re pardoned if and only if we’ve placed our faith in him. 

But here, at Communion we always receive the bread and the cup seated. Why don’t we stand for communion? It seems like a solemn enough time. Wouldn’t it be better to stand? In short, no it wouldn’t. We don’t stand as we come to this table for the same reason that we don’t stand at Christmas dinner.

You’ve already stood and heard your sins forgiven. Now you sit, as a member of the judge’s family. He’s come down from the stand and taken his seat at the head of the table. And, this table is solemn only because it’s a shadow of the true table of joy and feasting in the coming kingdom.

This table is for sinners—but it is for repentant sinners who have come to lay their sins on Jesus by faith. If you have done that—then sit and enjoy the feast that Christ has prepared for you. And know that after a lifetime of eating only a cracker and a sip of juice—one day you will sit and eat and drink to your heart’s content.

So come, and welcome to the table of the king.

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Communion Meditation: The Wall Breaker

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

Sin divides man from God, and man from man. But, when Christ died for sin, he broke down the walls that divide us from God and one another. From the moment Jesus was crucified, Jews and Gentiles began worshipping in the same temple, and eating from the same table. But, if you go rummaging through the debris of that broken wall picking up pieces to rebuild it in places that suit your tastes and prejudices it’s an awful sin.

This table, where we encounter the broken flesh of Christ is a reminder that Christ has delivered us out of the foolishness of racism, from the idolatry of identity politics, and the darkness of only befriending those in our own income brackets.

When you were born into this world you didn’t choose who your siblings would be. And when you are born into God’s family you don’t get to choose your siblings there either. God has chosen your family members. Therefore, if a woman has repented of her sins and put her faith in Christ, she isn’t like a sister—she is sister. He isn’t like a brother, he is a brother. 

If God, through the shed blood of Christ has declared a brother “clean” then we cannot turn around and declare him “unclean.” 

If Jesus has preached “peace” to a sister and brought her near, then the rest of the family can’t preach “hostility” and drive her away.

If you have not trusted in Christ, then the only wall that stands between you and this table is your own sin, which you are called to place on Jesus as you trust his sacrifice.

So, as those who have been brought near take their seat at the table, look around the room. Notice who is here. Notice what has brought us together when so many things would otherwise drive us apart. Look at what broke down the wall of hostility. A piece of bread, and a mouthful of juice. Finite symbols that signify infinite grace and mercy. The broken body of Jesus, and his blood poured out for the forgiveness of sin.

So, come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

Communion Mediation: Eat the Meal

After he was raised from the dead, Jesus appeared to his disciples who were startled because they thought he was a spirit. 

And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? … And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

How did Jesus prove that he had been raised bodily? He ate a piece of fish. He had a meal. Living things eat food. Physical bodies eat food and souls of men and women who were once spiritually dead eat food too.

We aren’t eating a tiny cracker and taking a sip of juice because we need to be made alive—we eat it to show that we have already been made alive. How? We were buried with Christ when we repented of our sin, and we were raised with Christ when we took hold of him by faith.

Today, if you have placed your faith in Jesus—God has prepared a meal for you, and he invites you to eat it. He invites you to be full on Christ, to feast on Christ, to cherish Christ in your hearts as you take these symbols of Christ’s body and blood into yourself.

If you have not placed your faith in Jesus, this meal is not for you. Don’t take it. because this bread and this cup are only symbolic of what you truly need. 

Christ had to be raised bodily before he ate the piece of fish. You must be raised with Christ spiritually, through faith, before you can sit at this banquet table. This meal is yet another invitation.

So, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.