The Christian life begins with a cry. It begins as we stand sinful and sorry before God and admit that we cannot get it right; we screwed up; despite all our efforts, we are not enough to satisfy ourselves and nothing around us satisfies either. We stand before God and cry out with faith, knowing that all that we could not do, Jesus has done. We admit that Jesus is enough, we believe his words, we accept his death in our place to take the punishment for our screw ups. We admit that we need Him. This cry begins our Christian life, a new life found in Him.
Yet the words of hymns and liturgy constantly speak that same cry, and that same admission. Come Thou Fount cries, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” And each time we gather together to take communion, we confess our sins together and draw close to the cross once more. The very point of communion is to remember what Jesus has done.
“This is my body, broken for you…”
“This is my blood, shed for you…”
The words of the Gospel, and of the liturgy roll so easily from our tongues, but have you ever sat with your single serve bread and single serve grape juice or wine, and felt them between your fingers, your mind wrecked by your own sin, and your heart hesitant to take the sacrament that drips with grace because you feel unworthy? You cry out in that moment, and you cannot help but admit your sin… You need Jesus. You need grace.
Tonight I saw a communion cup – a single serve communion cup – and felt it between my fingers. It was empty and yet the small reminder of grace was what was needed. Oh, yes, learning columns and columns of Greek verbs fills my head with more knowledge, but it does not satisfy my heart.
Only Jesus can.
This Christian life begins with a cry; an admission that we need Jesus to carry our sins and bear our burdens. He calls the weary and burdened to himself, if only we dare to come. This Christian life, it turns out, does not just begin with a cry to Jesus.. But each day, each moment, I find myself crying to my God in pleading or praise.
Jesus is not the beginning of our Christian, you see. He is every moment of our Christian life.