Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Eating: A Refreshing, Satisfying Act of Obedience?
In following a long and ancient tradition [for example, the old 1552 Book of Common Prayer's Admonition before Communion] that flows back to 1 Corinthians 11.17-34, we Presbyterians “fence” the table every time we have the Lord’s Supper. Below is an example of something I will say this Lord’s Day. It may cause some to shudder, some to jerk back repulsed; but I would encourage all to stop and ponder.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2.16-17).
God set before Adam and Eve two ways, and which way did our fore-parents go? 3.11-13 says they ate of the forbidden food. Eating is a refreshing, satisfying act of obedience; or eating is a smothering, life-depriving act of disbelief. The crucial point is, do you feast at God’s command, or in outright disobedience to His command? Do you indulge in God’s offered plenty, or do you savor forbidden vittles?
Christ offers us Himself, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6.56-57). But then, there is the famishing foodstuffs of those who “enter the path of the wicked” where “they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence” (Proverbs 4.16-17).
If you come disgusted with your short-comings and sins and hungering and thirsting for Jesus, you feast on life and shall be refreshed. But if you come dishonestly, disingenuously, deceitfully covering over your sin - yes, even those secret internet sins and sneaky behind-closed-doors sins - and eat, then be forewarned. You come unworthily, eating & drinking judgment to yourselves. Turn away from your ill deeds and thoughts, race to Christ Jesus, confess your sins, and you will find that there is more mercy in Christ Jesus than sin in you.
For all of you baptized, Christ-confessing, Church-going Christians who are disgusted with your short-comings and sins, and are hungering and thirsting for Jesus; draw near, and receive Christ, crucified and resurrected, in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving, and be refreshed and live!