Communion Letter: October 2nd
Dear Family at Christ Community,
As we begin Worship: A Divine Invitation, we will hear of a beautiful historical example of the people of God engaging joyfully in worship as a blessed necessity from 2 Chronicles 30. The chapter begins with Hezekiah, the King of Judah, reinstituting the Passover for the first time since Solomon’s reign (approximately 200 years!) and the division of the Kingdom into North (Israel) and South (Judah). A key part of the reinstitution was the invitation sent out to the exiles of the fallen Northern Kingdom to reunite and celebrate God’s redemptive work accomplished throughout their history. The response proves significant, and the exiles along with their Southern family joyfully flood the temple without performing all the necessary cleansing rituals to participate in the Passover. Hezekiah intercedes in prayer seeking pardon for the reunified but unclean family from the North. The Lord hears him and heals the people in an act of mercy and grace.
This serves as a beautiful picture pointing forward to Jesus, the Passover Lamb, who intercedes for us in our uncleanness and provides for our eternal healing so as to worship in the presence of the Lord. Just as the Northern exiles entered into worship unclean, so too we come to worship in need of Christ’s eternal cleansing. Matthew Henry captures this need in writing on 2 Chronicles 30:13-20 in his Commentary on the Whole Bible:
There is nothing perfect under the sun, nor a just man that doeth good, and sinneth not….These defects need pardoning healing grace; for omissions in duty are sins as well as omissions of duty. If God should deal with us in strict justice according to our best performances, we should be undone. The way to obtain pardon for our deficiencies in duty, and all the iniquities of our holy things, is to seek it of God by prayer; it is not so a pardon of course but that it must be obtained by petition through the blood of Christ.
The Lord’s Table will provide us with a visual reminder of our need for and the gift of eternal cleansing in Christ. In the broken bread, we will witness again the cost and satisfaction of our sin in Christ’s death. In the lavish cup, we will receive afresh the enlivening blood of Christ that resurrected Him and resurrects us to newness of life. Come ready to celebrate this blessed necessity that nourishes our relationships with God, each other, and the world.