WHAT???? I MISSED IT? THE SERMON IS OVER? Let’s PRAY????? I am almost in tears now. It’s been a hell of morning, literally. I feel my soul being smoked out by the fires of Hell. Let’s at least sit with Grandma for the communion hymns. The baby just won’t cooperate and sit quietly….I’ll stand in the back and wait for the family’s turn to go down to the Lord's table.
I now am standing in the back, keeping my eye on our pew to know when to walk down front, tears cresting to the top of my soul, trying to erupt into a stream down my face and what do I hear? A baby crying; another one screaming; and yet more loud cries from babies all over the sanctuary. Now the tears are brimming over with gravity on their side, and I think: That’s us. That’s all of us. Babes crying and writhing in soul-filled tears, needing the grace and blood of Jesus; needing true sustenance; needing to EAT CHRIST!
How desperate our need for HIM through our well-clothed appearances! Through our smiling, and sometimes, pious expressions; through our “Sunday celebration” jargon and our upbeat songs; through our dyed hair and hip accessories and Facebook status updates – WE ARE DESPERATE! We should be running barefoot down to altar, reaching up for the bread and wine and savoring it’s taste like only babes can do! We need to EAT JESUS – DEVOUR HIM like ravenous, famished infants crying from hunger, exhaustion, and selfish wantonness.
Jesus Himself said in John 6:23-59, “I AM the living BREAD that came down from Heaven….My flesh is TRUE food and My blood is TRUE drink…Whoever FEEDS on my flesh and DRINKS my blood abides IN Me and I IN him…whoever FEEDS on Me, he also will LIVE because of Me.” Verse 66 says, “After [He said] this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.” How many of us hear the Truth, respond to it and then live like we never believed it?
Christianity is the only grace-based religion. The only spiritual movement in which a real Person comes to us and becomes our God, our Friend. God, Himself, changes our hearts, gives us peace with Himself and ABIDES WITH US! Christianity is the only religion in which we rely on someone else's perfect work – Christ’s death on the cross, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into Heaven – for our GOODNESS and our RIGHTEOUSNESS. It is the only non-works-based religion. Why then, why, oh Christian, are you relying on your actions to gauge how your spiritual life is going? You and I are living like idolators when we rely on ourselves – our own works, our own attitudes, our own disciplines and talents and reputations and vocations – to feel good about our standing with God.
God sits sovereignly on His throne, full of His immovable plans, bending down to us and raising us up to Him. Jesus is the Bread that CAME DOWN to feed us. Eat Him! Fill your soul with Him! Gratefully take and eat and drink and abide with Him. HE is true food, HE is true drink! He IS from Genesis to Revelation! May we never squelch the cries of our desperate neediness welling up from our baby souls to be filled with TRUE food and TRUE drink.
Soli Deo Gloria!