Communion Letter: Feb. 23rd
Dear Family at Christ Community Church,
This Sunday we will have the opportunity to celebrate the fruitfulness of God’s compassion and mission at the Lord’s Table. Jonah 4:5-11 will show us the great depths God is willing to go to restore even one lost sinner (or in this case, one wayward and self-righteous prophet!) to Himself. God’s patient compassion and true justice will stand in sharp contrast to Jonah’s bitter anger and stubborn selfishness. In his commentary on Jonah, Douglas Stuart describes the contrast between God and Jonah:
What God did was right. Nineveh had great intrinsic worth in spite of its many objectionable characteristics. It had worth by reason of being the important city of its day, by reason of containing a large human population, or even by reason of its many cattle. No one—certainly not Jonah who argued vehemently for the great worth in a single plant—could have the right to doubt the propriety of God’s finding worth in Nineveh. Yet Jonah hated the whole business enough to die. He had resisted God’s will in this connection once already, unto death, as it were (1:12). Stubborn and unrepentant himself to the end, he could not abide seeing God show compassion and grace to the enemies of his people, Israel.
As we come to the table, the broken bread will remind us of how valuable we are in God’s sight. The Father sent His only Son in order to bring us home again! No matter how lowly you appear in your own eyes, no matter how much like Jonah you may feel at times, God chose to die for you. Why? Because you are precious in His sight. The poured-out cup will remind us that God’s righteous anger at our sin has been totally satisfied on the cross. And, in turn, we have now been filled with the Holy Spirit so that we may live defined by God’s compassion and mission rather than by our anger and selfishness.
Take some time this week to give meditate on how the Father sent the Son on mission in order to bring us home. Give thanks for the invitation to come feast at the Table in order to remember God’s love for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where anger and selfishness turn your heart away from reflecting God’s compassion and participating in His mission. Ask, too, that God would use us as His people to draw others to Himself in order that the number of those gathered at the Table might grow bigger!