Communion Letter: July 28th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
On Sunday, we will gather to celebrate the goodness of God to us through the redemption accomplished and applied in Jesus Christ. As part of our celebration in Ephesians 4:17-24, we will feast on the truth that the old way of sin and death has passed away in the death of Jesus and the newness of life has been poured out on us in the resurrection of Christ through the filling of the Holy Spirit! The tangible elements from the Lord’s Table allow us to participate in this unfolding sacred drama having our faiths nourished in the power of the Holy Spirit. The bread and cup will point us again to the unifying truths that Paul calls us to in Ephesians 4:4-6:
-We have been made one body in Christ who tore down all that separated us from God and each other.
-We have all been filled with one Spirit that lifts, convicts, and guides us to Christ.
-We all have one fixed and sure hope that we are sealed in Christ until He returns to make all things new.
-We submit to but one Lord who loves us and grants ultimately only good things to His children.
-We rest in one faith alone by Christ alone through grace alone.
-We celebrate the one baptism that declares the finished work of Christ as truly effectual to redeem the elect.
-We worship one God and Father of all who is over all and in all without changing or shadow of turning.
The Lord’s Table also displays the grace of God according to the measure of Christ’s gift of Himself for the life of the world and not according to anything we’ve done to deserve or deny the love of God (cf. Ephesians 4:7). While our celebration in communion should bear an element of sobriety given the cost to Christ, we should, in even greater measure, come with joyful and expectant hearts given the victory of Christ in His humiliation (humanity and death) and exaltation (resurrection, ascension, reign, and return) (cf. Ephesians 4:8-10). Charles Hodges’ words in Ephesians concerning Ephesians 4:8-10 prove worthy of our meditation in preparation for the table:
The great truth is, that Christ’s exaltation is the reward of his humiliation. By his obedience and sufferings he conquered the prince of this world, he redeemed his people, and obtained the right to bestow upon them all needed good. He is exalted to give the Holy (Spirit), and all his gifts and graces, to grant repentance and remission of sins.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to stir your heart in gratitude and joy for what Christ has accomplished for us as His beloved! Eagerly pursue unity and community with those God has sovereignly called you together with at Christ Community. Seek to walk with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love with those inside and outside the church. Reconcile with those who have given you an offense and with those who have taken offense at your words and actions. Come with eyes and ears attuned to God’s grace!