Text: Matthew 2 - the Magi from the East (Epiphany)
If you hadn’t noticed before, our time of Communion follows immediately after our offering, and there is a connection. Part of the relationship we have with the Lord is one of giving and receiving. He gives us life and all that comes with it, we receive all these gifts that come with life, and thank Him, and sacrifice back some to Him. What we give back to Him, during our offering, He transforms and gives back again. Some of the OT offerings were given back to the worshiper to enjoy and eat before the Lord. So as we bring our offerings forward, our focus turns to the Table, where God gives back. We receive it and thank Him, and go to sacrifice back our lives to Him, as our spiritual act of worship. Melchizedek God’s priest, gave to Abraham, Abraham gave to his concubines’ children who went east, the magi come from the east to give to the seed of Abraham. Jesus, the seed of Abraham gave His life for us, symbolizing it with bread and wine. His Father gave Him His life back. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Jesus gave us the Spirit and all His gifts with Him.
We present back to Him what He has given us to steward. Have you been stingy, holding your resources close, or multiplying your investments wisely? What can you give Him? You. And everything that is you. May your soul bless the Lord, and all that is within you. This is communion. Sharing what we have with Him.
Of course, OUR sharing is a drop in the ocean the other way, of God’s sharing with us Himself, His Son, and all the benefits of Christ our new covenant head. Standing in Him, His life, obedience, death and resurrection are ours. He has pleased the Father for us, and in Christ, the Father is pleased with us. We are sobered, remembering the sacrifice it took to get to this place. That travail of body and soul is also ours, as we suffer under modern Pharaohs of disease, disaster and dysfunctional leaders, who tyrannize, kill and persecute us. But we also rejoice with exceedingly great joy, knowing our salvation draws near, of which we already have a foretaste. This joy was the Father’s intent all along, that our joy may be full. His joy is ours. His satisfaction over His enemies is ours. So we don’t steal your joy at this Table, dwelling on your sin, except to say that the death of Christ paid for them.
The main ways we know this are through Word, Water, Bread, Wine. The gifts of God for the people of God.