I am going to introduce a phrase into to our Communion liturgy before Covey and I distribute the elements. The phrase is “Come and welcome, to Jesus Christ.”
First, the scriptures instruct us that coming to this table means we are coming to the table of the Lord Jesus Christ’s (1 Cor. 10:21).
When we come to this table we come to Jesus Christ. As we approach and take what is freely offered to us in Christ, we are shaped by God’s grace, we grow up into the perfect man, the Lord Jesus. This is not a mere ritual. It is a memorial, but it is so very much more than a mere memorial. It is effectual. It’s is food and food is for strength and growth and celebration of a harvest.
Eating at this table together is one of the means God uses to accomplish His purpose of remaking us. He commands us to come and eat and by obeying we become what God made us to be. When we come to this table in faith we are coming to Jesus. To become like Jesus.
The word “Welcome,” is equally important. Covey and I do not examine you before we give you your food. There is no catechism. There are not armed guards or metal detectors.
If you are baptized and in good standing within the Church of Christ, then you are welcome. This table defines a relationship. And that relationship is one of love, generosity, compassion, familial goodwill and joy.
Furthermore, you are not given bread and wine because you are a ‘good,’ person. You are given bread and wine so that you will grow up to become a good person. You are welcome here, not because of what you have done, but because of what God, by His grace is doing to you.
Lastly, the word ‘come,’ is an open invitation to everyone. For those not baptized, it is an invitation to the water. For those unrepentant it is an invitation to repent. The only barriers to this table are found within the sinfulness of the human heart. Christ on His cross provides cleansing for every human heart and now crowned, He offers Himself – fully and completely – to all.
So, Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.
**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Evening reading, January 1st.).