Once a policeman went to an elementary school to take a report on some vandalism there. While he stood in the hallway, a little girl came up to him and said, “My mother told me to call the police whenever I need help, is that right?” Policeman said, “That’s right.” She stuck her foot out and said, “In that case, would you tie my shoe?” When the policeman got back to his car, where his canine unit dog was in the back seat, a little boy ran up and said, is that a dog?” “It sure is,” said the policeman. The boy thought for a minute and asked, “What did he do wrong?”
How do you respond in God’s presence? It is appropriate early on, to ask, What did I do? And repent of it. But then later, in deeper communion, we can ask God for help.
Israel was not ready to receive the presence of the living God. Are you? We have already been in God’s presence in worship for the last hour, but we have been summoned, we have confessed, and we have been set apart, all in order to commune and then be commissioned. The consecration section is when we prepare and rearrange our lives to be in God’s presence. What good does it do to prepare and cook the meal, if you don’t eat it?
In the same way, dear people, we now enjoy full fellowship, as full as possible in this life, full fellowship with God in this meal, with all sin straightened out behind us. Perhaps something came up in the sermon that you need to take care of. But the main direction of this table is not lamentation and repentance; it is fellowship – partaking. Our sinful selves died with Christ on the cross. We live and abide with Christ now. We look forward to fuller fellowship when we drink of the fruit of the vine with Him in glory.
Be careful not to get stuck on repentance. It is quite rude to go to someone’s home for dinner, and continue to repeat throughout the night, “I don’t know why you would invite me. I don’t deserve to be here.” No. God gives you permission to revel in His grace. Enjoy God’s presence. We are not engaging in a weekly funeral service to remember Good Friday with somber long faces. This meal is a feast – a foretaste of a coming feast of fellowship.
Share your life with Christ and with His Body, as it is gathered with you – all around you - today. Fellowship not only with Christ in the inner portions of your soul, face scrunched up and eyes closed. Fellowship also with the body of Christ, smiling eyes wide open in wonder that you are included among this gathering of Christ’s people.