I'm not sure if Smalltown Poets were ever cool when I was growing up, but their CD got major airplay in my little room with slanted ceilings. I'm sure they inspired some of the sappy journal writing I did or at least accompanied it. One of their songs came to mind recently when I was taking communion, the chorus of "Trust" reads,
Take this bread, Drink this cup, Know this price has pardoned you From all that's hardened you, But it's going to take some trust
When the bread passed by me in the pew, I pulled off a good-sized chunk (thanks to Kevin DeYoung, whose message on sanctification and communion inspired me to peel off enough bread to "feel the weight of it") and stared at it in my hand. Jesus instructed us to take the bread and drink the cup, for as often as we take the bread and drink the cup we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes (see 1 Corinthians 11:26). So, I weighed the good-sized chunk in my hand while I considered what it proclaimed. This price has pardoned me from all that's hardened me.
Oh, boy. That was the price my hardening required - a pardon that looked like a broken body and spilled blood?
Yes. That is just exactly the kind of price. Even the good-sized chunk of bread couldn't help me imagine the weight of my dead bones before Christ revived me. But feeling the weight of the bread during communion is something different than guilt and nothing like condemnation. The weight of my good-sized chunk of communion bread felt like freedom.
But the challenge with communion, for me, is not believing that Jesus' death and resurrection happened or that it is the event that brought life to my dead bones. I am redeemed and a child of the King, of that I am sure.
The challenge with communion is believing that Jesus' death and resurrection is currently keeping my bones revived.
When a slave is granted freedom, we do not say that freedom existed for the one moment when his chains fell. Freedom is also every moment after the shackles break; salvation is happening in our lives as believers as much as it happened when we first believed.
What Jesus accomplished on the cross was not millions of salvation moments, but rather millions of salvation stories.
Yes, Smalltown Poets, this is "going to take some trust." We are freed to obey, freed to believe, and freed to trust that this Savior who secured my freedom is faithful to keep securing my freedom.
This is what I proclaim in the bread and the cup: trust that God pardoned me and He is keeping me pardoned.
That means I am freed from greed and fear and worry. I am freed from anxiety and pain and jealousy. I am freed from pride and guilt and shame. I am freed from sin and death and given a way out from temptation. I am freed and Christ is keeping me freed.
This is starting to sound like a broken record. I'm not sure that's so bad.