I’ve spent my whole life in church.
I’ve seen more than my share of bad solos, dances, sermons and glow stick routines.
I got to experience the pure terror of having a guy that looked sort of like an extra from The Walking Dead walk up on the stage in the middle of my sermon and ask if he could speak to the ladies in my church.
I’ve seen the ugliness of people acting like the church belongs to them and the beauty of lives changed by the gospel.
But one of the best things I’ve ever seen happened last Sunday when a girl rejected the Lord’s Supper.
I always begin communion by explaining what it is all about. I talk about the danger of taking this meal while unrepentantly holding on to sin (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) and I talk about how communion is a celebration for believers only and more like a wedding reception than a meal after a funeral.
Everyone is always real quiet during my explaining. They always sit respectfully still, waiting to take the bread and juice. Until last Sunday. While the cups were being passed out, a girl stood up and walked towards me. This never happens. In one hand she was holding her full cup and in the other she had the tiny piece of bread. At some point, she decided that she would rather deal with the awkward stares from others than simply go through the motions of another communion. She was saved but she was struggling. She had resolved that prayer and confession was better than playing a part. She was acting an awful lot like the woman who washed Jesus’ feet, disregarding what the religious people around her might think (Luke 7:36-50).
Later, this girl would partake in the Lord’s Supper and it would remind me of the gospel’s power. The worst sinner is welcome to stay at the Lord’s table but the sin is not. Only Jesus can take care of both the welcoming and the cleansing.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:27-30 ESV)