Last week at my church Grace Baptist Church of Millersville (where we are more Grace than Baptist! ;)) was a communion week. Pastor Joel always says the same sort of thing-1.) Don’t take communion if you are not a believer 2.) If you are not a believer today would be a GREAT day to cross the line of faith! 3.) Don’t take communion if you are out of fellowship with another member of the congregation 4.) If you are out of fellowship-go make it right, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper with us next month with a renewed joy! But last Sunday he added a little story that I had never heard him say before, and it moved me to tears! It went something like this:
There once was an old Scottish professor of Bible attending an old stone church in Edinburgh. This particular communion Sunday he was feeling a very heavy weight of sin and guilt and was contemplating passing over the elements when they were sent around. Two rows ahead of him he saw a young woman painfully sobbing. He internally analyzed her pain and sorrow and realized that both of them were viewing communion incorrectly. Understanding and seeing her struggle in accepting the grace given, he leaned forward and whispered to her, “Take it! It’s for sinners lassie”.
I kept repeating this phrase to myself while I took the bread and the grape juice, and it was one of the most beautiful, joy-filled communions I have ever participated in. I felt a deeper understanding of God’s love and gift of salvation; I felt a enormous amount of gratitude and wonder. With this in mind a few nights later, I penned this poem:
Take it, it’s for sinners
Redeemed like you and me.
Don’t drown and shame and guilt my friend
Turn, Repent, be Free.
You look so closely at your sin right now,
That good-He wants you to.
But do you see who’s bearing it?
Because it’s HIM not you.
You’re not condemned, hated, judged
Though thousand times you fail.
He knows you struggle day by day
Yet still His cross prevails.
Think of that love, that choice He made
To draw you unto Him.
Knowing just what your wrestle with
He choose to bring you in.
Forgiven, Righteous, and Secured
He calls you by these names.
The price is paid, so good or bad
His love for you remains.
So take this bread and take this cup
Declaring Christ as Lord.
See the tender sacrifice
In the blood that poured.
You’re reconciled to God my friend!
Have joy and seek His face.
Turn from your sin and worship Him
In His rightful place.
Taste the sweet forgiveness of
The Kind, Merciful, Good King
Remembering that to communion,
Like salvation, nothing do you bring.
The sacraments are holy, yes,
A somber joy to do.
Thanks to propitiation though
Holy you are too.
For those of you who like to hear it (some of the lyrics have been tweaked since I recorded this):