Communion Letter: April 29th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
This Sunday our worship will focus on the first imperative challenge in Malachi 1:6-14. Malachi challenged Israel (and the Holy Spirit challenges us) to examine the attitude and heart behind their worship. The questions that rise from the text are worthy of our consideration as we prepare for the Lord’s Table. Do we think that God should be happy with whatever He can get from us given our broken, fallen nature, or does He desire that we delight to be in His presence and celebrate His glory in our union with Christ as beloved sons and daughters? Are we more concerned with what we get out of worship (or that we at least get out in a timely fashion), or do we consider whether God was pleased with what we offered in His name? The reality for most of us is that our worship proves a fluctuating mix of all of these things that we feel powerless to control. Iain M. Duguid and Matthew P. Harmon in Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi: Reformed Expository Commentary have good news to share with us despite the bad:
How can God accept cold, halfhearted, easily distracted, and rebellious worshipers like me, whose first thought in times of trouble is to question the reality of God’s love and whose second thought is usually to defend our own inadequate worship as perfectly fine? He did this by sending a true worshiper in our place, a genuinely submissive Son who gave his all as an act of wholehearted worship and love for his glorious Father, a Suffering Servant who obediently offered up his life for us and for our salvation….The sacrifices that Jesus offered were never blemished or halfhearted but were given with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.
The Lord’s Table offers us the nourishment we so desperately need to honor the Lord in worship. The broken bread signifies the body of Christ broken under the weight of our sinful guilt and shame so that we could come boldly to worship week in and week out! The overflowing cup reflects the shed blood of Christ that grants us new life in the New Covenant to be able to worship in the power of the Spirit and in authentic truth! We depart from the table confident that our halfhearted offerings will not have the final say in our relationship with God the Father. We depart from the table assured of His love for us in Christ in whose righteousness we stand in worship.
Take time this week to thank God for sending Christ to be the unblemished lamb on your behalf so you could dwell in His presence with joy and thanksgiving! Repent of your attitude that God should be happy with the fact that you showed up and should take whatever He can get from you. Forgive those who have dishonored and dismissed you and your efforts in their lives given that you may be guilty of the same toward God. Come expecting the Lord’s presence which is worthy of our praise and expressed joy!