Friday, July 5, 2024

The Goodness of God

In nearly every church that I've been in, every experience that I have had of the Table, the Communion moment has been surrounded by...silence. If not silence, then a very soft bed of light, simple music - usually a simple worship melody, something off the day's playlist. (I think it's because our churches somewhere got the idea that silence is bad, so they put music into even the silent moments - under Communion, under prayer, under the invitation, under everything so that whatever happens, we never have to deal with silence. It's...awkward. But that's a conversation for another day.) 

So we celebrate the Table in silence, in personal meditation, in prayerful soft worship. We have this moment that feels like it should be dimmed lights and lighted candles, maybe a little swaying back and forth (but not too much), a private moment to oneself to think about what it means to be sitting at the Table with Jesus and what it means to be taking of the sacrifice that He offers us. 


There is no way this Table was ever that quiet. 

Maybe the first time, when Israel didn't know what was happening. Not in any real sense of knowing. 

But after that, remember - this is that Table of the Passover. It's a remembrance of that time when God sent an angel of death through the entire territory of Egypt and slaughtered the firstborn everything, only to pass over the homes of His people and leave them the only ones not weeping when the sun rose. It's a celebration of the goodness of God. 

Think about that for a second. We have somehow taken this Table, which was initially marked by a people not weeping and made it into one of the most solemn things we ever do. 

One word: whyyyyyy?

I think it's a bigger problem than just the Table. I think we struggle as Christians in this age to celebrate, to truly celebrate, the goodness of God at all. We're not good at praising Him for the amazing, wonderful, incredible things that we're experiencing as His children. We aren't even that good at talking about them. 

Maybe it makes us feel weird. Sometimes, it makes me feel weird. It's been so long since many churches have truly celebrated the Lord, rather than solemnly, reverently worshiped Him, that for generations like mine, it's almost a foreign language. That's sad. 

I don't think that celebrating the Table fixes all of that, but I do think it's a great place to start. I think that the experience we have not only with the memory of the goodness of God Who passes over His people but also with the Son of God who came to live with and die for us is a great place to start learning how to celebrate again. It's a great place to break out of that solemnity, out of that silence, out of that smooth worship bed, and, uhm, party

After all, if anyone else had done this for you - your friend, your neighbor, your politician, whomever -you'd rejoice in that, wouldn't you? 

So let us rejoice. 

Let us break bead, pour juice, lift our glasses and our hands, and rejoice

For this is His body, broken for you, and this is His blood, poured out. For you

Doesn't that make you happy? 

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