Communion – that time when churches distribute bread and wine, to remember Jesus’ death. Instead of trying to hold onto His life, He gave His body over to the soldiers, letting them beat Him and nail Him to a cross, and He allowed His blood to be poured out to make us acceptable to God. You can read more about the reason for this here.
At the church I go to now, we don’t have a set pattern of things we say to remember this, but my parents have been churchgoers since I was a child. At that church, one of the prayers before communion went something like: “We do not presume to come to this Your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness … for we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under Your table”.
First of all, I didn’t understand what righteousness meant, but I sort of got the message that we shouldn’t come close to God trusting in ourselves; we were hardly even good enough to pick up the crumbs under His table. I got the fact that I really wasn’t worth very much. What I didn’t realise was that Jesus dying on the cross changed that. I don’t know how many communion services I sat through, missing the whole point of it.
Righteousness is being right with God. Because Jesus died in our place and He was right with God, when we believe in Him, God puts the Spirit of Jesus into us, so all the things we didn’t have on our own are now ours through Jesus – if we would only live that way! We have a right standing with God. God loves Jesus, and He loves us. Isn’t it time we stopped only saying half the prayer?
Father, I wouldn’t be bold enough to come to You trusting in myself. On my own I’m hardly good enough to pick up the crumbs under Your table, but Jesus has died for me, and trusting in Him I can be bold! I can approach You – not as if I was a stranger, but as Your child. I can ask for things, like I would ask my parents. If I believe You’ve promised me something and it seems slow in coming, I can say: “Father, You promised …” Thank You that You want that kind of relationship with us. Amen.
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If you’re having communion tomorrow at church, will you take time to really think about Jesus’ death and what it means for you?