Guest Post by: Job Dalomba
Each week at Emmanuel Church, we observe the Lord’s Supper near the end of our corporate worship service and personally speaking, it is an emotional event. I am reminded of the forgiveness of my sins and reflect upon the specific sins in which I have been convicted of during this worship service. Coming to the table is an act of faith because we are acknowledging our helplessness to atone for our sins. The body and blood of Christ are set before us and there we face works based righteousness or righteousness found only in Christ. Is my righteousness enough for salvation? If yes, then I may sit down, for there is no need to participate. Is my righteousness enough if no, then where may I go to find forgiveness? Who or what can I trust for my forgiveness, to cover for all my unrighteousness? For Christians, we turn to the One that these elements point towards, the One who gave them to us and the One who is ultimately serving us in this meal. We turn to Jesus. We trust in his life, death and resurrection from the dead and his righteousness imparted to us for the forgiveness of sin. When we come forward and partake of this meal, we are confessing our faith in the death of Christ to atone for our sins and to cover us with his blood and righteousness. What a wonderful meal from a host whose name is Wonderful.
Over the last few weeks, our Communion meal has brought to my mind something new to rejoice in. We’ve had the privilege of seeing Christian families with multiple generations in the worship service together. I have the blessing of being in front each week leading the worship service. I am blessed to watch the first, second and in some cases third and fourth generations of God’s faithfulness to a single family as they come forward and receive the elements together. Each one is united by physical blood but during Communion they are expressing their greater spiritual union with each other through Jesus Christ. As Christians we know that the unity we have in Christ is the truest and greatest unity there is with other people. It is a barrier that breaks down all physical barriers we may have according to Ephesians 2 and Galatians 3. It is in Christ alone that all the physical and spiritual barriers are removed and a new unity is given that is vastly stronger and superior to any physical or spiritual barriers. Communion is the visible way God tells the world that we are one in Christ and that our previous grievances and sins are put asunder by the resurrection of Christ. Thanks be to God that neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, brothers and sisters, cousins, fathers, grandfathers and grandchildren, would have full unity and love through the forgiveness of by the death of Jesus Christ.
All Christians must wholeheartedly accept these New Testament truths and whenever they aren’t, we must repent and seek to be faithful to them. If we have racial or social barriers healed and are expressed during Communion then praise be to God. I do not want to see this lessened, but I want to draw out the truth that is so near to the Apostles Paul’s heart in Romans 9, as well as other texts, and that is the desire for those of our physical blood to join with us around Christ.
Whether it is in immediate or extended family, or nationality, my growing desire is to see the physical and spiritual be brought together in unity under the Lordship of Christ. I want to see this in my family, the South, our country and in other various ways that could be mentioned. This is one of the blessings given to us from the Lord’s Supper. Jesus tells us to take the Supper in remembrance of Him and Paul adds that we are always proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes. It has been nearly 2,000 years since these words were spoken and penned and the result has been 2,000 years of God’s faithfulness to countless families and churches. Families and churches that have multi-generational legacies of physical families worshiping the same God together. There are legacies of spiritual families that now are full of the descendants of those who founded the church carrying on the work of the Lord their fathers began, all of which is to be celebrated with thanksgiving.
Christ’s death is still being proclaimed and remembered. He is still serving His people, many of which are posterity, spiritual and physical, of a previous generation. Christ is still being proclaimed to those of the physical family that we long to come to know Him, to those of the same nationality to repent and trust Him. We still proclaim Him and His death and will continue to do so until He returns. He is still faithful and His promise is still true. My prayer is that we will see this ringing true in our midst and extended to a thousand generations, like God has said it would. We may not see the thousandth in our lifetime, but four generations around the Communion Table is a nice foretaste for the grand meal in the new heavens and earth, where beyond a thousand generations and all nationalities will be there. May that day come soon and may our eyes see the fruit of that day.