Communion Letter: Feb. 9th
Dear Family at Christ Community Church,
This Sunday we will have the opportunity to celebrate our restoration to God by partaking of the Lord’s Table. Jonah 3:6-10 will remind us of the role repentance plays in our restoration to God. We have already seen how God has graciously restored Jonah to Himself despite Jonah's wayward rebellion and sin. Now we will see how God responds to the Ninevites' repentance as they turn from their violent ways. In Running from Mercy, Anthony Carter explains what happens when we repent from our sins:
God didn’t change His mind about sin. He didn’t change His mind about Jonah’s sin, the Ninevites’, your sin, or mine. He doesn’t. He won’t. He can’t change His mind about sin. All sin must be punished. God didn’t change His mind about sin. But instead of punishing us for our sin, instead of punishing Jonah, instead of punishing the Ninevites, He punished His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. . . . He didn’t change His mind; He only changed the recipient of His wrath.
As we come to the Table, the broken bread will remind us of the immense cost of our sin. We deserve to be broken by God’s wrath for the way we have broken relationship with Him. But instead He sent Jesus to bear the wrath we deserve so that, by God’s grace, through faith, and through repentance, we might experience the joys of restoration. In turn, the poured out cup will remind us that every drop of wrath was drunk to the dregs by Jesus. Our lives are now defined by God’s lavish compassion which is poured out upon us!
As you prepare to receive the bread and the cup on Sunday, ask the Holy Spirit to stir your heart to see where your practice of repentance has grown stale or mechanical. Ask Him to rejuvenate your sense of wonder at the fact that God would send Jesus to bear the wrath you deserved. Ask Him to produce fruit from your repentance that would have an influence on your life and on the lives of the those around you. Pray, too, that the means of grace this Sunday would build up our church and that they would be a vibrant witness to those in our midst who have not yet experienced the joys of restoration to God in Christ through faith and repentance!