Communion Exhortation - 3/2/08

Text-Colossians 2:16-23

Rev 22:14 and 17: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life. The Spirit and the Bride say come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” We are back in the Garden, the veil torn, the tree of life available to us. When we eat of Christ, believing He has paid for our sins before the Father, then we have eternal life. The Spirit calls you to eat. The Bride, the Church, calls you to eat, as she stands before you at this table.

Have you died with Christ in baptism? Do you believe in Christ, as you are able given your age? Then you qualify for this gift. Don’t let anyone cheat you and tell you you aren’t worthy enough.

At the same time, we elders stand here as guardians, called to fence this table. We do this with the flaming sword of the Word of God, calling you to stay away if you have no regard for holding fast to Christ, for you will only eat and drink judgment upon yourself. Calling you to stay away, if you have been so charged by Christ’s Church here or elsewhere and have yet to repent. We call you, sword in hand, to pass through the fire of the Spirit, to pass through the waters of baptism, to let the sword pierce your soul, to die with Christ. Only then will you live in Him, and so sit down and eat here, at the only table that offers true life. Here at this table is one place where all the members of the Body are being nourished and knit together. The growth doesn’t happen automatically, or through some magic power in the Table or the elements or the words we say. The growth is from God Himself.

So hold fast to the Head, as you see the whole Body. In the bread and wine, discern Jesus’ Body broken and bleeding for you. In the eating and drinking, discern Jesus’ Body giving you life as you are united with Him. In this gathering, discern the whole Body, members nourished by the Head’s representative. Do not disqualify or disregard anyone here, but rejoice in God’s kindness to you. The gifts of God for the people of God.

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