Let the Blood Flow

This devotion first appeared in the October 9, 2002 Laplata Home Press.

Not long ago, during a time of personal prayer, praise, and meditation, singing songs of surrender and the meaning of the cross, I realized I was overlooking a portion of the truth and reality of Christ’s atonement for me. I suddenly turned and was facing the communion table at Church. In the dark of the Church auditorium, with only the outside street light shining through the frosted windows. I saw the communion table clearly and the words engraved on the front, “This Do in Remembrance of Me.” It struck me, when I am sharing in the Lord’s Supper each week, I am awestruck by the death and resurrection of Jesus, but I’m not sure I was letting the character of awe bleed into every other aspect of my life.

When a person has clogged blood vessels, their heart doesn’t work to full capacity. The blood doesn’t get into every part of the body, or at least not enough blood. When this is the case, sometimes heart attacks, strokes, the loss of extremities and other negative conditions can result and often do. To open blood vessels so that blood flows to all the fingers, toes, and other extremities, often surgery, and or medicine, exercise, change in diet, and lifestyle are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, debilitation and death occur.

So, it is with the meaning of the Lord’s Supper in the believer’s life. In that moment as the auditorium became a sanctuary, I considered how the blood of Christ is to flow into all areas of the Christian’s life. In all relationships; family, friends, business, work, neighbors, and church. In all our financial considerations and activity; choosing government officials, in the meals we eat, in very choice we make, including TV, movies, computer and Internet, video games, our choice of friends, even in the Lord’s supper each Lord’s day.

To let the blood flow into all areas of our life means, total commitment to Jesus Christ, commitment to and participation in the Church, commitment to obedience and service, commitment to Bible study, meditation, and prayer, commitment to obedience and service, humility, forgiveness, and love.

About 20 years ago, at the Christian Church in Welch, Oklahoma, one man gave a communion meditation pointing out that the time we have to prepare for each communion service begins immediately after we have completed the last communion service. In other words, total commitment. Or to state it in modern popular lingo, 24/7. As Christians come to “the Table” each week to share in the breaking of bread and partaking of the cup, we remember the Scriptures tell us this is done to remember what Jesus Christ has done for us. Not just for a few hours a week, or whenever we feel like it, but always. A total commitment of our lives to the cause of Christ for which he died.

Have we let the blood flow into all areas of our life?

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Memory

This first appeared in the LaPlata Home Press September 11, 2002 in a weekly devotional called Flowing From the Mouth of the Jordan.

When I was 3 1/2 years old, my parents, my Grandma Dillman, and I took a trip out east.  We went to Gettysburg, Niagra Falls, and other special places of interest. The next year we went to the Rockie Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and Knotts Berry Farm as well as other places of interest of interest to us.  I remember blotches of these moments. For instance, the only thing I remember at Knotts Berry Farm was riding the train. I sat in a seat by myself (remember I am 4 1/2 years old) and two guys dressed as western bandits sit behind me and tell me to “stick-em-up.” My parents told me I told them “NO!”

Most of what I’ve told you I barely remember. In fact, the details of what I could tell you about each situation have been filled in by my parents, especially by the pictures they took of these two trips.

Every Sunday, when God’s church gathers in each church building, the church shares together in the Lord’s Supper (i.e., Communion). The Lord’s Supper is a sharing in remembering what God has done in Christ on the cross. We were not there when he nailed and died and taken down and laid in a tomb (John 19:17-20:10). We were not there when he bore our sins on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But, when we came in faith to Christ in baptism, we participated in Jesus’ death for our sins (Romans 6:3-8) and the Lord’s Supper reminds us of the depth of love God has for us, and the forgiveness we’ve received in Christ through our faith and obedience.

Just like the pictures of my family’s trips fill in the blanks of my memory, reminding me of what happened in Gettysburg, and Colorado, etc., the Lord’s Supper reminds us of the work of the cross in our lives. The cross brings forgiveness of sins to those who have faith. For the Christian, participating in the Lord’s supper is as if we are participating in the cross, because Jesus experienced our sin in his suffering.

All Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Version.

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Resurrection Sunday is Coming

The anniversary of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is coming in just a few weeks. Jesus raised about 1,980 years ago and we recognize his resurrection regularly. I mean, without Jesus’ death and resurrection there wouldn’t be much to live for. Life would be fruitless and the current narcissistic society we live in would be the best. Live for all you’ve got and do whatever you want and you will be fulfilled.

But life is not about us. It is about our relationship with God. Yahweh is holy. His relationship with humanity is based on his holiness and our relationship with God is based on whether we accept holiness or not.

Jesus, God come to earth (ie., Emmanuel) is the only human who ever lived completely sinless. Jesus was and is holy. His death on the cross is our sacrifice to atone for our sinfulness and make us holy.

I recognize Jesus death and resurrection every day, at the least by living my life according to Jesus’ holiness that he gave me through my salvation. I celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection every Sunday. Worship on Sunday is the weekly celebration of Jesus’ resurrection because he raised on Sunday. The Lord’s Supper is the weekly celebration of Jesus’ death.

What is your plans for the annual anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection?

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The Lord’s Supper…Who’s it About?

Dave gave a powerful meditation for communion on Sunday.  One thing stuck with me.

He shared that in the past, if he had sinned, when communion time came, he felt that he was unworthy of partaking in the Loird’s Supper.  I’ve even known people that felt that way that wouldn’t partake if they felt unworthy because they had failed during the week.

He finally realized that the focus was not on his sin, but on Jesus Christ who payed for sin.

Is it about you or is it about Jesus?  That’s what we have got to remember.

He died for our sin, but it’s not a focus on you and me and our sin, but on the the Savior who paid for those sins.

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Observing the Sabbath

I read this quote in the 1.10.2010 Christian Standard.  “Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week” Alice Walker (b. 1944) American Pulitzer Prize-winning author (The Color Purple).  It reminded me of something that happened in 1981 or 82.

We were attending the Christian Church in Welch, Oklahoma.  One Sunday I gave the communion meditation and noted that the time we spend at communion is pretty short.  A few minutes for a meditation and prayer, and a few more minutes to pass the bread and cup.  In a church Welch’s size at the time it could be 10 minutes (give or take).

A couple of weeks later, a wise  man who was also a deacon in the church (whose name I can’t think of now) followed up on my meditation.  He noted my meditation that day had forced him to contemplate what I had said.  Here is what he shared with us.

Preparation for the next communion time begins right after that communion time ends.  Our life is a preparation for celebrating the holy.  Holiness is every moment.  Not just the moments leading up to sharing communion.  The moments following one communion begin our preparation to share in it again next Sunday.

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