Friday's Meditation

This do...

Jesus left only three instructions for the religious practices and observances to be followed collectively by His church: baptism, a formula for effective shared prayer (The Lord's Prayer) and an instruction to re-enact His last meal with His disciples. Everything else we do in worship, in spiritual discipline, in prayer groups, in praise, in liturgical services and in charismatic services did not come from Jesus. These 'extras' came from the minds of men and women - sometimes clearly under the direction of the Holy Spirit ...and sometimes less so.....

Given that Jesus has actually asked so little of us, shouldn't the things He does require of us be our priorities?

We can come up with all sorts of reasons for not celebrating communion. Sometimes people say: "I am not good enough!" or "I need to get right with God, first..." They are missing the whole point of communion: it is not for the saintly - but for the needy, the sullied, the sinful. It is the place where we can meet with God and have our needs met.

There may be times you feel that going to communion is pointless as God seems so far away and you don't seem to be able to reach Him. Communion, however, is a two-way street. Each time as we reach out weakly in faith to Jesus, conscious of our shortcomings and our need, He reaches out to us to rescue and bless us. We may not always feel it at the time, but our faith tells us it is so.

Sometimes we just get so busy and so distracted with other Christian business that we neglect communion. This is a temptation we need to be alert to. In Christian spirituality, the enemy of 'the best' is not 'the bad' : is 'the good'. Often our lives get swamped by good things: worthy activities for our Church, or parts of our Christian witness or acts of compassion. These worthwhile, inherently valuable things can distract us from the devotion to Jesus which has to be at the centre of our lives. The great 16th Century English theologian, Richard Hooker remarked that:

"God concerneth Himself rather with adverbs than with verbs;
for it matters less to God that we do, than that we do well"

We do well when we do what Jesus specifically asks us to do: share communion together. We do well when set aside a quiet time each day to meditate on God's word and pray and commune alone with Him. We do well when we don't use our tiredness, apathy, busyness, feelings of inadequacy or unspirituality, or sense of unpreparedness as an excuse not to do what Jesus asked of us. He didn't ask us to feel spiritual about it, He didn't ask us to put our lives in order before we did it. He just asked us to do it.

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