Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Communion and worthiness

Think back for a moment to the institution of the Lord's supper in the Gospels.  Can you remember Jesus giving a bite of bread to Judas, right before Judas left to betray him?  Do you remember that Jesus washed the feet of all of the disciples, and then shared the bread and cup with them?  Do you remember what happened to the disciples after Jesus' arrest?  They betrayed him.  Peter denied him.  None of them stood by him. Do you think Jesus knew what would happen to the support of his friends?  Do you imagine he hesitated to offer them his body and his blood that night?

Could it be that their sin was the reason he offered himself?

I hear discussions about who should be allowed to take communion.  My grandmother wouldn't accept communion because she felt her grudge against her neighbor prohibited her from the sacrament. Do you ever feel you are not good enough or sinless enough or clean enough to partake?  

Don't get me wrong.  I think the confession at the beginning of communion is important and beneficial - especially to us, as it offers us an opportunity to be honest with ourselves and God.  Do any of us truly repent of all of our sins before we receive communion? Were the disciples?  Was Judas repentant?  How could he have been, since he left that place to betray Jesus.

It is in communion that we meet the grace of God.  It isn't the sinless who are in need of grace; it's the sinful.  God loves and accepts us, knowing that we have sinned, and forgiving us.  Thank God for that truth.  



Anonymous Carole Reardon said...

Wow, I love these ponderings. Jesus was sent to us in human form, and it is my understanding that while here, he experienced all the thoughts, pain, joy, maybe even lusts, and doubts of a very human man. And he did it all anyway. Egocentric, I suppose I see him pushing himself forward in the same manner I do when I have to do a hard thing. Did he mentally shake himself, tell himself, "Focus!" the way I do when I'm dithering because I am reluctant? To me, it makes his sacrifice even more astounding, more beautiful, more grace-full, when I see that he did. When I see that it was hard, but he did it anyway.
There have been occasions when I felt conflicted about communion, but I approach it with the fervent prayer, "Help me to be worthy." I don't believe in denying others communion. It is between them and God (and I'm not in a position, not being clergy, to deny it anyway). I believe it was God's gift, and His to give from His table.
Thank you for a lovely questioning piece.

8:21 AM  

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