Communion Letter: Aug. 4th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
This Sunday we will come yet again to the Lord’s Table to witness anew this display of God’s inexhaustible feast of grace and mercy in Christ! As Paul calls us in Ephesians 4:25-5:2 to put off the particular sinful ways of thinking and habits that were killing us and put on the characteristics of God in Christ for the benefit of our neighbors, the elements from the table will offer us the nourishing strength to do both in the power of the Holy Spirit. The broken bread shall pronounce yet again that our grave clothes, filled with the stench of death, have been removed in the death of Christ. We no longer labor under the tyranny of shame and guilt unable to display the glory of God in our words and deeds. The overflowing cup will edify us in our glorious garment of salvation in which we display the righteousness of Christ in resurrected newness of life. We are eternally welcome before the throne of God to receive all that we need to love Him and our neighbors for the life of the world. John Owen in Communion with God captures the humbling and beautiful truth of the Gospel signified in the Lord’s Table that is worthy of our resting in as we prepare for the Table:
How many millions of sins in every one of the elect, every sin sufficient to condemn them, has Christ’s love overcome! What mountains of unbelief has Christ’s love removed! Look at the behavior of any saint. Consider his heart. See the many sinful stains and spots, the defilement and the weaknesses with which his life is contaminated, and tell me whether the love that bears with all this is not to be admired? And is not Christ’s love the same to thousands every day? What streams of grace, purging, pardoning, quickening and helping, flow from Christ’s love every day!
Give thanks to the Lord that His mercy and grace prove greater than the incalculable sum of all of our sins! Ask the Holy Spirit what sinful thought patterns and behaviors (i.e. falsehoods) need to be put off in the finished work of Christ and what God-glorifying words and deeds need to be put on for the life of the world. Remember that your brothers and sisters at Christ Community struggle with these same things and with this same high calling. Take the opportunity to build one another up so that it may give grace to those who hear. Be intentional in showing kindness and tenderheartedness as evidenced best in forgiveness just as God in Christ did the same for you. Seek to be equipped to imitate God as beloved children, and walk in love as Christ loved you!