Communion Letter: Sept. 16th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
We will have the opportunity this Sunday to gather together and commune with Christ at His Table through the broken bread and abundant cup. These nourishing elements help to empower us in the Holy Spirit to also commune with Christ in His suffering for the sake of the life of the world. In 1 Peter 4:12-19, Peter calls for us to “rejoice insofar as (we) share Christ’s sufferings, that (we) may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” He goes on to declare that, “if (we) are insulted for the name of Christ, (we) are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon (us).” These realities reveal the truly upside down nature of the kingdom of God! Who has the ability to rejoice in sufferings of any kind much less those that occur from trying to live justly, walk humbly, and love our neighbors for the glory of God? Who can see themselves as truly blessed when insulted for trying to make the world a better place? The answer is none of us can in our own strength. These realities can only be experienced and lived out through the supernatural provision of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit via the cultivation and application of the means of grace of which the Lord’s Table is one. As we experience and live out this communion with Christ through suffering as nourished by the means of grace, our faith, hope, joy, and love all increase to further deepen our relationship with Christ and our transformation into His image. As Edmund Clowney writes in The Message of 1 Peter: The Way of the Cross:
The reality of our suffering for Christ becomes a pledge to us of the reality of our belonging to Christ. That in itself brings joy to our hearts. It also strengthens our hope. If, like Christ, we suffer according to God’s will, we know that, like Christ, we shall enter the glory of the Father. Joy lies before us, the joy of seeing Christ in his glory in the great day when he will come again (4:14). Suffering, then, is not a threat, but a promise. The pattern of Christ’s life is the pattern of our lives, too.
Take time this week to give thanks to the Lord for the opportunities to commune with Christ in His suffering and for His provision of the means of grace to aid you in this calling. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to recognize the blessing in being insulted for Christ’s sake. Pray for those who are lost to witness the glory of God in your suffering for the cause of Christ. Pursue forgiveness and reconciliation where it depends on you. Generously bless others who are currently enduring suffering and insult because of their union with Christ.