By: Yves Blouin
Note: below are a few thoughts I had shared with friends at our communion service and that my attempts at humour might be misunderstood or simply poor and for that I ask for your grace.
It always amazes me how God is mindful of us. Why should he love us?
Hebrews 2:6-8 NKJV
But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
That passage refers to Christ but in a lesser way it refers to humankind. Why would God treasure us above all his creations? Definitely not because we deserve it. Only his grace, mercy and love makes this possible.
If I wasn’t a sinner what would be the point of coming together to celebrate communion? The Lord’s Table reminds me of what Christ’s love did for me. He gave up his life to redeem me, a sinner, so that I could have fellowship with him.
When I was 10 years old my best friend and I were looking at knives at the local Hudson Bay Company store. I held the knife incorrectly by it’s sheath with my thumb over the handle. It was very tight fit and wouldn’t come out. Eventually it did free itself from the sheath and sliced the full length of my thumb, right down to the bone. At that moment I was more concerned about what my parents would do to me than the pain I was dealing with or how gross it was. We went to my friend’s grand-father’s apartment and wrapped the thumb in so much bandages that it was nearly a half-inch thick all around.
When I arrived home I tried to hide it from my mom but she caught sight of it and asked me what I had done. I answered like any 10 years old would… “Nothing” I said. The blood had soaked right through the thick bandages and the colour was a crimson red. My mom opened up the bandage to take a look and I thought she was going to faint at the sight. She rushed me to the hospital after which, it took several stitches to properly take care of it.
We often behave similarly towards sin. We hide our sins under layers of pretense and self-righteousness – I know I’ve sure been guilty of this. Just like how those bandages couldn’t hide my injury from my mom, no matter how well we deceive ourselves into thinking that our sins are not that bad or that no one knows, we need to remember that God knows.
Yet, we rationalize our sins and think that we’re not as bad as the next person.
It’s been well said that you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. I’d add to that, you can never fool God.
My first job after college was working in the Imperial Oil maintenance dept. The leadership was interestingly composed of a majority of 1st and 2nd generation United Kingdom citizens. There were some Scottish, Irish and English descendants. One of them told me this tongue in cheek saying of how they thought of the other’s application of religion:
There are four kinds of people in the UK –
First, there were the Scots who kept the Sabbath – and everything else they could lay their hands on;
Then there were the Welsh – who prayed on their knees and their neighbours;
Thirdly there were the Irish who never knew what they wanted – but were willing to fight for it anyway.
Lastly there were the English who considered themselves self-made men, – thus relieving the Almighty of a terrible responsibility.
Fortunately since I’m descended from a french heritage I’m safe here 🙂 Kidding!
As an interesting note you wouldn’t know to look at her but Geeta (my Guyanese spouse) is 12.5% Scottish!! And we know that Marc of his own admission at the pulpit a few weeks ago is approximately 28% Irish. Not saying anything just stating facts. 🙂 Thankfully as Christians we’re not bound by our cultural heritage but by our spiritual heritage in Christ. Our behaviour doesn’t always reflect this and the communion service is a good reminder of our need for forgiveness and our position in Christ – forgiven sinners.
I’m reminded of the story of the sinner and the pharisee. What a good illustration of how not to examine others but how to examine ourselves:
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Paul had this prescription related to the communion service:
1 Corinthians 11:28 AMPC
Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
Notice that it doesn’t say to examine others which is much easier. How many times have we thought and even said: hey honey you heard what the preacher said… Meanwhile I should be thinking about how to apply it to my own life.
1 Corinthians 11:31 AMP
But if we evaluated and judged ourselves honestly [recognizing our shortcomings and correcting our behavior], we would not be judged.
CS Lewis had a thought that wrapped this up nicely:
“It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.”