Psalm 43:3-5 O send Thy light forth and Thy truth
1 O send Thy light forth and Thy truth;
Let them be guides to me,
And bring me to Thine holy hill,
Even where Thy dwellings be.
Then will I to God’s altar go,
To God my chiefest joy:
Yea, God, my God, Thy name to praise
My harp I will employ.
2 Why art thou then cast down, my soul?
What should discourage thee?
Any why with vexing thoughts art thou
Disquieted in me?
Still trust in God; for Him to praise
Good cause I yet shall have:
He of my countenance is the health,
My God that doth me save.
William Barton (1597–1678) and Francis Rous (1579–1659 NS) after Psalm 43 vv 3-5
READING 1 Corinthian 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
As we prepare ourselves for communion, let’s take a look at three things.
We need to look back
Look at verse 26 again.
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
You see, every time we have the Lord’s Supper, we are announcing what Jesus did for us on the cross.
The blood that was shed there for us.
We need to look back and remember this. Found in Romans 5:6-9
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
We need to remember this also. Found in Hebrews 9:22.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
We need to look back and realize that Jesus had to shed his blood and die on that cross for the forgiveness of our sin.
Our passage from the Bible this morning not only tells us to look back, it tells us to;
Look at verse 28 again.
28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.
As you prepare to receive communion, look within yourself. Only you and God truly know who you are within yourself.
Paul writes that we are to examine ourselves. What do you see when you look within yourself.
What are you doing with your life?
How are you living?
Are you striving for holiness or striving to hide who you truly are?
Have you, and do you, put Jesus first in your life?
Are you totally committed to Jesus.
Do you have unconfessed sin in your life. Sin that you need to confess to God.
1 John 1:8-9 tell us this:
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
We must examine ourselves and depend on God to forgive our sins but we must not take communion with unconfessed sin in our life.
Look within yourself this morning.
Lastly, Paul tells us that we should:
Look at verse 26 again
We are looking forward to the time when Jesus comes again.
We should be expectantly waiting for the return of our Saviour. Eager with anticipation of our Lord’s return.
This communion should make us look forward to that return and to the marriage feast of the Lamb that we will share in with the return of Jesus.
Look at Revelation19: 6-9
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
As we share, albeit in our own homes, this Communion, we should look forward to the return of our Lord and to that great feast we will have then.
We will share in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with Jesus Christ.
This communion should make you look forward to that glorious feast.
I urge you this morning, as we prepare for Communion, look back, remember what Jesus did for you.
Look inward and get yourself right with God.
Look forward to the return of the God man we remember and celebrate today.
Communion – Psalm 24 vv 7-10
1 Ye gates, lift up your heads on high;
ye doors that last for aye
be lifted up, that so the king
of glory enter may:
But who of glory is the king?
The mighty Lord is this;
ev’n that same Lord that great in might
and strong in battle is.
2 Ye gates, lift up your heads; ye doors,
doors that do last for aye,
be lifted up, that so the king
of glory enter may:
But who is he that is the king
of glory? who is this?
The Lord of hosts, and none but he,
the king of glory is.
Amen, amen, amen.
John Craig (1512-1600)
Psalm 23 The Lord’s My Shepherd (Orlington)
1 The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want:
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
2 My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake.
3 Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
4 My table thou hast furnishèd
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
5 Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.
Francis Rous (1579-1659), William Whittingham (1524-1579), Scottish Psalter (1650)