Communion Meditation, Sun, Aug 12, 2007

Figured I’d share yesterday’s communion mediation. People seemed to respond well to it. The sermon was about temptation so I framed my thoughts along those lines.

Some of you may be familiar with the”Frog and Toad” childrens’ books. They were a favorite of mine as a kid and still bring back romantic memories of my childhood. So I thought I’d share a little story about Frog and Toad dealing with the temptation of cookies. Something with which some of you, like me, can personally identify!

Toad baked some cookies. “These cookies smell very good,” said Toad. He ate one. “And they taste even better,” he said.

Toad ran to Frog’s house. “Frog, Frog,” cried Toad, “taste these cookies that I have made.”

Frog ate one of the cookies, “These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!” said Frog. Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another.

“You know, Toad,” said Frog, with his mouth full, “I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick.”

“You are right,” said Toad. “Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl.

“Frog,” said Toad, “let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad ate one very last cookie.

“We must stop eating!” cried Toad as he ate another.

“Yes,” said Frog, reaching for a cookie, “we need willpower.”

“What is willpower?” asked Toad.

“Willpower is trying hard not to do something you really want to do,” said Frog.

“You mean like trying hard not to eat all these cookies?” asked Toad.

“Right,” said Frog. Frog put the cookies in a box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”

“But we can open the box,” said Toad.

“That is true,” said Frog. Frog tied some string around the box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”

“But we can cut the string and open the box.” said Toad.

“That is true,” said Frog. Frog got a ladder. He put the box up on a high shelf. “There,” said Frog. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”

“But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box,” said Toad.

“That is true,” said Frog. Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a loud voice. “Hey, birds, here are cookies!” Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.

“Now we have no more cookies to eat,” said Toad sadly. “Not even one.”

“Yes,” said Frog, “but we have lots and lots of willpower.”

“You may keep it all, Frog,” said Toad. “I am going home now to bake a cake.”

How often do we, as Christians, come to church for spiritual encouragement and accountability, hearing advice from each other and from Scripture about how to keep the cookies away… only to go home and bake a cake of our own?! It’s one thing to attend a worship service and claim publicly that you are pushing away the cookies, but it’s entirely another battle to say no to the temptation of baking cakes when no one’s looking.

There is sometimes a spiritual disconnect between our public lives and our private lives…. between what we do and say here and what we do and say elsewhere.

The difference is made up for us by Christ, who was tempted and did not sin. Hebrews 2 says that “because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Jesus’ sufferings, though greater than ours, were not enticing enough to cause Him to trade short term fame for the long term gain He sought… The long-term gain of… our redemption… victory over sin…. and power over temptation.

At the Lord’s Table, we are offered nourishment that empowers us anew to have victory over sin and temptation. Not because it’s something magical or it’s like a special pill we can take, but because the Lord’s Supper extends to us a weekly invitation to experience again Christ’s continuing presence and power over sin and temptation.

When we gather around the Table each week, we experience Christ and His enabling power by which we commit yet again to increasingly choose what is good and right.

Scripture says, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” So today, around the Lord’s Table… May you be helped by the One whose power over sin is continually made available to us, if we will just receive it.

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One Response

  1. Col 2:20-23 “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

    It’s cool that Paul goes on to tell us what we need to do is focus on Christ. Communion is a time where we remember we are not saved by our attempts to “put sin in a tied up box”… we are saved by the blood of Jesus.

    Thanks for sharing Scott!

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