Friday, August 26, 2011
On Into the Evening
It took about another hour and three quarters for the praying, the hugging, the confessing and the tears to abate. About seventy-five of varying ages had stayed behind . The corporate movement had separated into little clusters of four or five seated around the sanctuary. Hearts were being opened. Stories and secrets were being told. Burdens were being relieved.
Circulating among the groups Craig and his fiancee Michelle could be heard saying things like, "So you're tired of playing church"; "Jesus is really pleased with this"; "Don't hold back"; "He is sovereign"; "Come on back tonight for special Communion".
Something provoked Craig to call over one of the ushers and to tell him to get Phil the janitor to change the outdoor sign. "Let it read. Special Communion Tonight. Cleansing. Commissioning. Come."
Craig could already hear himself sharing with the people that famous exhortation of M'Cheyne's about Communion:
"Just such, beloved, is the meaning of receiving broken bread and poured-out wine at the Lord's table. It is the most solemn appropriating act of all your lives. It is declaring by signs, "I do enter into the ark; I flee into the city of refuge; I lay my hand on the head of the Lamb; I do touch the hem of His garment; I do take Jesus to be my Lord and my God; I hold Him, and by grace I will never let Him go."...
The more you feel your weakness, the amazing depravity of your heart, the power of Satan and the hatred of the world, the more need you have to lean on Jesus, to feed on this bread and wine-you are all the more welcome...
It is a solemn declaration that you are one with all true Christians, one in peace, one in feeling, one in holiness; and that if one member suffer, you will suffer with it, or if one member be honoured, you will rejoice with it. You thereby declare that you are branches of the true Vine, and are vitally united to all the branches-that you wish the same Holy Spirit to pervade every bosom. You declare that you are lamps of the same golden candlestick, and that you wish the same golden oil to keep you and them burning and shining as lights in a dark world."