Communion

No longer the slaughter, the fear, the hurry,

No longer the punishing God in His fury;

No more the spattered blood on the doorposts –

We’re covered, protected forever.

 

Thank You, my Lord, for dying for me;

There really is nothing like knowing Your peace –

Like knowing the veil‘s been taken away

As You opened the gate for us.

 

Forgiveness and healing flow from Your throne;

I recognise You and I give You my all –

The blessing of gathering here at Your feet,

Surrounded completely by love.

Giving Is … Offering Yourself

Thanks for joining me for this “It’s About Giving” series, and I want to say a big thank-you to Compassion Bloggers for the idea.  I’ve really enjoyed thinking what I associate with giving and what we can learn from the Bible about it; I hope you have too.  This will probably be the last blog I write for 2012, so thank you very much for reading this year.

We had communion at church today.  I wasn’t expecting to, and I love communion, so it was a nice surprise.  Jesus tells us to take communion in remembrance of Him, and this time of year, I’m remembering the beginning of His earthly life more than the end of it.  As the bread was passed around, “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” was played on the keyboard.  The verse that came to my mind, we missed out when we sang it later, but I’ll share it here:

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breast full of milk,
And a manger full of hay;
Enough for Him whom angels
Fall before,
The ox and ass and camel,
Which adore.

Angels adored Jesus that first Christmas; shepherds adored Him; wise men adored Him …  The writer of the carol obviously thinks, and I would agree, that even the animals adored Him.

I can’t say this thought is my own, but it’s from a sermon my friend preached a few years back.
Do you know that as well as gold to symbolise His kingship, frankincense to point to the fact He was God, and myrrh to signify His death, the wise men gave another very important gift?  Their worship.  “They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him” (Matthew 2:11).  One of my favourite writers, Sharon Jaynes, says the sacrifice they made to go on their long journey to find Jesus was also a gift.

Giving is offering yourself.  So whether it’s the gift of a long journey or our adoration, let’s offer ourselves to Jesus in 2013 and beyond.  Are you with me?

Communion

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?