The following is the text from my Communion offering this past Sunday. It is my honor to be able to use my gift in this way for God's glory, and I am humbled by the response that these words, in particular, received - even coming from this woman of limited insight.
I hope you're hungry.
No, I'm not saying that because it's snack time. I say that because I know church is one of the hardest places to be hungry.
When you're hungry, it's easy to walk in these doors wondering if this hour will be enough for you. Wondering if we will sing the right song, pray the right prayer, preach the right word so that you don't walk out of here starving.
That's why I love the way Jesus has wrapped His sacrifice in this ritual. This bread and this blood so that even in the midst of all this church, we are reminded that He is still the one who feeds us.
But that's hard, too. It's hard to come hungry to Jesus. We want to feel like there's something to us, something in us that we can offer to God or something that at least makes us not so desperately needy. Hunger makes us aware of our emptiness, then when we come before Christ, we wonder if there's anything at all in us that is worthy.
(Here's a hint: There really isn't. That's kind of why He has to be Christ.)
When we're about to come here hungry - empty - searching - thirsting - there's something in us that says we have to fill up our lives first. Something that says we have to bring something. Anything. So we go about gorging ourselves on the things of this world - sometimes even the most holy-sounding things - so that when we get to Jesus, we feel like we're something more qualified or more valuable than "hungry."
That wasn't Christ's plan. Let me ask you: what are you going to do this morning with the Bread of Life if you're stuffed? What are you going to do with the Blood of the Lamb if you're satisfied?
Jesus never said, "Blessed are those who don't need Me today, for they are not a pain in my neck." No. He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst... For they. will. be. satisfied."
So I hope you're hungry this morning. Because that's the only way you're going to taste Jesus.
This is the text as I had written it prior to speaking. As you can imagine, an opening line of 'I hope you're hungry' could have gone either way, so I took the liberty of writing this one out so that it wouldn't end up as post #3 in my 'Inappropriate Communion Thoughts series.' (#1:#2. I must note that when I write them as inappropriate, I have not actually spoken them.) Some of the words came out this way; some did not. But this is roughly what I hope those in my fellowship heard...and I pray we all come hungry.