Sermon text: Deuteronomy 6
Paul's warning to the Corinthians in chpt 10 was to avoid idolatry in deciding where they eat. When the whole city of Corinth expects you as a good citizen at the Dionysius festival, you must refuse, because you eat at the Lord’s table. The problem is we can also make idols of good things, like patriotism, family, and a pro-life abortion stand. Your fundamental identity is acted out here. Jesus feeds you with Himself. You are dependent on Him, you trust Him to save you from God’s punishment against your sins. It is good to associate with like-minded people on secondary issues, like family integrated churches, paedo-Communion advocates, and home-schoolers, but if we start to see any of those things as what we need to save society, we are headed for idolatry and pride. All things do not consist and hold together in Calvinism, or in the family, but in Jesus Christ. We cannot be home-schoolers first, or even members of our families first. We are first members of God’s family. All these other things are good, only as they contribute to the life of God’s family, which we believe they do. But if we cannot conceive of saying no to our nation or to our family out of obedience to Christ, we do not understand what this table and our Lord demands of us. We are renewing a blood covenant to belong to Christ. This transforms our identity at the root, reshaping all of our previous loyalties.
Be loyal to Christ. Thank Him for the gifts He gives, of a free country and a faithful family. But here at this table, remember the sacrificial gift that makes every other gift possible. But most of all, receive Christ at His table, as children. Jesus is very clear on this point. We must enter His Kingdom, and receive Him as little children. This is not so easy for adults with higher skills in making subtle and nuanced excuses and rationalizations to stick with our idols. But children must learn gratitude that deepens with understanding of God’s sweet and awesome ways.