The Greek-speaking Christians had a word for the Lord’s Supper.
They called it Eucharist, which means
“thanksgiving.” And no wonder, because the greatest
gift of all is the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus has washed away all our sins and become one with us in such a way
that he will never let us go. He has raised us with him in his resurrection and
included us in the fellowship he has with the Father.
None of us deserves
God’s favor, of course, but God loves us anyway. And because he loves us, he
does not leave us in our sins. He not only forgives all our sins, but he
also lives in us by the Holy Spirit and transforms
us into people who do love him and love others.
Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God that brings
salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and
worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this
present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our
great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from
all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager
to do what is good.”
Isn’t that interesting? It isn’t the
threat of punishment that teaches us to say no to ungodliness. It isn’t fear
that motivates us to love God and love others. It’s God’s grace, his mercy, his
love, that bring salvation and teach us to live upright and godly lives.
Notice again how the apostle Paul says it: “For the grace of God that
brings salvation has appeared to all men.
It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”
is the starting place. Grace is what brings salvation and what teaches us to
live godly lives. God loves us,
and he not only saves us, but also transforms us by his Spirit so
that we can experience a life of love with him and with our fellow human
beings. He doesn’t just forgive our sins and then leave us to continue to be slaves
to our sinful nature. The Holy Spirit won’t allow that.
James 1:17… “Every good gift
and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
James wants us to know that God is completely dependable and
trustworthy, not unpredictable or capricious. In our world of uncertainty and
danger, we can always count on God to be good, to love us unfailingly no matter
what else happens, even when we are failing to live as we know we should.
there be any greater comfort than to know that God is faithful to us, even when
we are not faithful to him? Like the father of the prodigal son, God never
gives up on us, and always runs to meet us in joy when he sees us coming down
the path toward home.
what repentance is all about – coming home, returning to God. We don’t repent
in order to get God to forgive us. We repent, that is, we turn back to God,
because God is our home. And it’s there, with the Lord, that we share
the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, with
Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.