Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter musing

"Let each one examine their heart, and make themselves right before partaking of the Lord's supper."

Perhaps I have heard them wrong, but each time these words fall upon my ears, dread creeps over my soul, a thick fog moving across the contours of my heart.

How must I examine my heart and make myself right before God?

Should I venture to peer within my heart I stumble across motivations I can only describe as less than honourable; self righteousness abounds; I am lacking in generosity and kindness of spirit; I want nothing more than to prove myself right at every turn... there is blackness hidden beneath this clean and shining face. To look down into that blackness sends chills down my spine. To contemplate making myself right before God only fills me with despair. Not in my wildest dreams or most angelic moments could I hope to achieve anything close to making myself right. I am beyond repair. All is bleak.

As I sit before the communion table contemplating the awfulness of my sin, exhorted to prepare myself, I retreat in defeat. I will never be worthy to take those blessed symbols of Christ's death. His body and blood lie ever beyond my reach.

And in this is the mystery. As I face the truth of my most desperate plight, I attain a state of readiness. In the moment of recognising my absolute unworthiness, my total inability to qualify as even an extra in the great drama of God's story, I am transformed, made worthy, transmuted to that perfect place of participation in the ritual of bread and wine.

For is not the work of making my heart right Christ's work? Does he not make me worthy to join the dance of love? Was this not the purpose of his death and resurrection - to save me from my own weak efforts at perfection? Did he not shed his blood in order to bring freedom from futile works?

Let us not be frivolous as we approach the Lord's table, but neither let us be burdened by the weight of our sin. The table is for rejoicing over. Take the cup and drink to life, the bread and eat to wholeness. Christ has done the work! In his death he achieved that which we could never hope to achieve in a lifetime of trying.

To life. To a worthiness that is not my own.


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At 4:58 am, March 24, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

I knew I'd find a thoughtful Easter post here, Cecily.

This brought tears to my eyes and soothing to my heart.

Wonderful it is to know that I celebrate Easter in the same way as you, all the way over in Tasmania, with introspection, clarity, and profound, humble gratitude for what our Lord has done for us.

Happy Easter, dear friend!

At 1:43 pm, March 25, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

You've said it so well. "Let us not be frivolous as we approach the Lord's table, but neither let us be burdened by the weight of our sin." The greatest gift, right? Thanks.


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