Sermon text: Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:11
We do not come to this Table, as Solomon points out, b/c we have straightened out our crooked hearts, and are now acceptable to God because of our hard work. No, God has done radical surgery within us, without our help, and He gives us this antibiotic to stave off any infection from setting in.
We do not partake here , as Solomon points out, b/c we are wise enough in God’s ways to distinguish ourselves from the world. No, we are to receive the Kingdom as a little child, simply, without complete understanding or full appreciation of what we are receiving.
We do not eat this Supper, as Solomon tried, to produce an emotional happy high that will carry us through a downer of a week. No, we receive from the Lord here b/c He tells us to remember Him this way. We do not partake to gratify our flesh, b/c we are hungry or thirsty, but rather so Jesus can feed and strengthen our souls.
We do not partake here of this Table, as Solomon found out, b/c it is the most aesthetically pleasing thing to do – the best wine, the tastiest bread, the professional musicians, wearing the best clothes.
Jesus is the source of every gift like these. His hands broke the bread first. He spread out His hands in the first and only effective sacrifice on the cross. We come here with empty hands to receive Him and His blessings.
This doesn’t mean that we must come having done nothing, that we must come ignorant, that we must come sad and despairing, that we must come afflicting our bodies, that we must come plain and unadorned and ugly. No, as we receive Jesus at His Table, we are enlivened to work harder to fight sin, to work harder in our vocations, to be wise, to be joyful, to care for and enjoy what our bodies can do, to improve our food, music, clothes, and homes, b/c all these things are God’s and not ours.
May we receive the bread and wine in faith, pleading the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood to pay for our sins, only by His grace, through no merit or labor of our own.