This past year our church leadership decided to celebrate communion every Sunday as long as the Spirit led us.
It's been a beautiful thing to come to the table prepared for us--every Sunday. We eat and drink "in remembrance of [Him]" (read Jesus' instructions for celebration in 1 Corinthians 11:23-28). It reminds us that this is why we're together, why we're a church, why we have life at all.
But to be faced with His table, with HIM, every Sunday--has demands as well. It demands our living come in line with His sacrifice.
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ" Philippians 1:27.
Part of this worthy living is learning to forgive as we've been forgiven.
A few Sundays ago, it was again time to celebrate Jesus' body and blood. And I was struggling against the pain of some things, struggling to let go.
And I pictured my Jesus, taking so much pain for me, with nothing but love in His heart--for the God who planned all this and for us. Love for unworthy, unloving, negligent me.
He took it for me. I'll take it for you.
The burden is on us, not to fix every relationship (sometimes that's not possible Romans 12:18), but to let go of all bitterness, and be ready and willing to forgive and show grace.
The pain I experience in these yet-redeemed relationships is so small compared to His. Small, but not unreal. Not easily put aside. A sacrifice is required.
It's painful, friends. There's no way around it, just as there was no way around the cross for Jesus. He embraced it. And in Him, so can we, because there's JOY in the end of the sacrifice.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
p.s. There's a sweet little printable (my first one!) coming your way on Thursday, so make sure to check back!