Yesterday we talked about the disaster of the Titanic. The “Unsinkable” ship met her match just 4 days into that historic voyage. We talked about the foundations on which we build our lives, and the inevitability of tragedy in our own lives.
Then we took communion.
I haven’t always valued the practice of communion. Like many religious things, it just became something I did the first Sunday of each month. Only over the last few years I have grown to appreciate the power of the table. The reminder of the gift of mercy and grace from a good God that loves me. The scheduled medium to “get right” by confessing my sin, and asking for God’s power to overcome it. His body broken for me and His blood shed to cover my multitude of inequities. There is something beautiful about the way we approach the table in brokenness.
I know talking about disaster and then communion seems like a sharp segue, but there is something disaster and communion have in common--they are the great equalizers.
Disaster doesn’t discriminate. No one is immune. The day the Titanic sunk, there was no median demographic—the rich and poor, man, woman, child, religious, "bad person" and "good person" all faced death in the frigid Atlantic.
When we come to the table together, we come as men, women and children. The rich, the poor, the faithful and the struggling--all in need of a Savior. There is no one who has an edge on morality. No one is immune to sin. There are no inherited advantages. We may not be “equal” by societal standards, but our need for Christ makes us identical. The pastor and the death row inmate both need the hope of Jesus and promise of eternal life in Him.
A life founded on Christ won’t protect us from disaster, but life without Christ is the ultimate tragedy. In Christ, we have the promise that regardless of what we face on earth, it will all be set right in heaven.
“…In this world, there will be trouble” Jesus said “but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
I know this makes it all sound so easy. Having walked through the grief of unexpected disaster with a close friend over the past few weeks, I’ve seen the gut-wrenching, hard to breathe, unrelenting pain of tragedy. God’s expectation isn’t that we push down our pain, but that we would try to seek Him even in the depths. We are never expected to fake joy in disaster, but to pursue it, and try to allow Him to walk through it with us. The gift of Jesus isn’t just salvation, but a relationship where our brokenness and vulnerability are welcome.
Thats a relationship worthy of pursuing.
Jake McGregor, Pastor of Missional & Spiritual Formation