Have you ever wrestled with a problem that just won’t go away? Sometimes we struggle with unforgiving thoughts, resentments, feeling that life just isn’t fair. Perhaps we are perplexed because we don’t understand what God is trying to teach us, or we are fearful about the future, unsure if we can fit in with God’s will. There are so many things that take our focus away from the Lord Jesus. Satan has no end of strategies.
Surely in Church our minds will be able to see Him, lifted up in worship. Communion, that holiest of ordinances, of course is one of those occasions. I have watched men handle the loaf of bread as tenderly as if it were the body of the Lord, prepared for burial; the reverence that is due Him may be seen, whether our thoughts would be worthy of examination.
It took me three days to ask God’s forgiveness for disrupting a communion service. Oh I doubt anyone but my immediate friend knew the struggle I was having, but the Lord knows everything. The little cup of wine was so cleverly devised that all we had to do was lift the cellophane off the wafer and then expose the tiny wine glass. I couldn’t get the wrapper off the wafer we were using in a COVID scenario; the problem just wouldn’t go away! I had used these before, but as I sat struggling, it never occurred to me that this was a battle against the Evil One.
Satan does not want us to celebrate Jesus. He sits at our elbow ready to turn our eyes away from the One who is Light and Life. On this particular Sunday where were my thoughts of reverence? Did I really need to use the wafer, to make me remember the dear body of my Lord, broken for me and my sins? Of course I am not forgetting the words of Jesus as He prepared His disciples for what was to come. “Take and eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26).
At that moment in time His words could not have held the same meaning for the men who listened, as they would have in future days and years to come. Two thousand years later what do Jesus’ words mean to you and to me today? As I celebrate the broken body of my Lord, is it in spirit and in truth, or has it become a ritual? The struggle I had that day was with something in my hand, but wasn’t it also with something in my mind? Where was the sadness about my Lord’s costly sacrifice? Where was the gladness for God’s free forgiveness of my sins? What was I thinking about God’s amazing grace, His unconditional love? Why was it so important to conform to tradition?
Thankfully the Holy Spirit brings to our minds opportunities that are lost, so that we can ask for God’s forgiveness. How precious it is to know “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9).
We need to be aware that issues of tradition might subtly distract us from the real goal of worship. Satan will use any ploy to dissuade us from tenderly recognizing the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, broken and poured out for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28). Without His sacrifice there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). How lost I would be without Jesus! Lesson learned? Let us fix our eyes on Him, forgetting the apparent struggles at hand.
by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)