Communion Letter: Mar. 5th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
We will begin our sermon series The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Mark for the Easter season this Sunday. It is fitting that we would celebrate the Lord’s Table together as we embark on a journey through the betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ in Mark’s Gospel over the next few weeks. The bread and cup will remind us of Christ’s redeeming intercession on our behalf. The broken body and shed blood will reflect the cost of our salvation in Jesus’ death and resurrection. May the reminder and the reflection grant us the freedom to worship over this Easter season in Spirit and truth, because we have truly been set free from the power of sin and death by the priceless person and work of Christ!
In Mark 14:3-9, we encounter the story of a woman who risks ridicule and abuse to anoint Jesus with a costly perfume at Simon the leper’s house in Bethany. Her act of extravagant worship sparks the disciples to rebuke her sharply for wasting what could have been used for the poor. Jesus displays a different perspective by calling what she did a “beautiful thing” and commanding the disciples to leave her alone. He defends her risk and extravagance displayed in worship and intercedes for her. Jesus declares that her actions, which caused an uproar among the disciples, will be proclaimed along with the Gospel in the whole world! J.C. Ryle’s insight on this scene in his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Volume 1: Matthew—Mark is worthy of our meditation in preparation for communion:
Let us believe that the same Jesus who here pleaded the cause of His loving servant, when she was blamed, will one day plead for all who have been His servants in this world. Let us work on, remembering that His eye is upon us, and that all we do is noted in His book.—Let us not heed what men say or think of us , because of our religion. The praise of Christ at the last day, will more than compensate for all we suffer in this world from unkind tongues.
The elements of the table serve to remind us that Christ has pled, is pleading, and will plead on our behalf against the claims of Satan and the world. This declares God’s love to us over the din of unkind tongues.
As you prepare to be nourished by the bread and cup, give thanks for Christ’s complete intercession on your behalf. Seek the full application of forgiveness to the areas of your life where you continue to struggle. Ask the Spirit to strengthen you in the means of grace so as to be able to worship in freedom because of Christ’s work accomplished for and applied to you. Pray for others to be able to experience the same freedom in union with Christ.