Reflections On Our Union With Christ and With One Another

The sun had set completely more than an hour ago. We were sitting around a picnic table in the darkness. My wife pointed to the myriad of stars above. It was a clear night unlike the first. What a thrill filled our hearts as we beheld the scintillating stars in the heavens and feel at the same time the innumerable grains of sand on our feet,—all conspiring to remind us of God eternal covenant love for us (Gen 22:17). We are, after all, Abraham’s seed by union with Christ, the Seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16). One day we shall be in heaven together with an innumerable number of just men made perfect, shining like the stars. But even today on account of the Spirit of Christ indwelling us, we can, as a church, be a reflection of heaven on earth.

Poignantly, this is not always the case because of sin. So my joyful reflections of what God has done and is doing, was a little dampen as I thought of some of the troubles that afflict us. But I quickly shake off those thoughts. I tend to focus too much on the negatives. God who has begun the good work in us (Phil 1:6) is still at work! There is much cause for thanksgiving!

There was an ember fire by our side. My wife and son had earlier been keeping it burning. It had died down now. But though the raging was gone, the warmth could still be felt, and there was still a beautiful living glow. Such is our church. We may not think that we are raging brightly, but do we not see that God is working powerfully in our midst? Do we not see how members and even visitors of the church are stepping forward to contribute their talents, yea even asking: "What can I do to serve the brethren?" Have we not all experienced the warmth of the love of God emanating from the church through the loving gestures of our brethren?

While musing on some of these things, I decided to put the kettle over fire. And I began to stir the embers and to blow at them. Lo and behold! In a moment the dying fire burst into a glorious flame again!

Then was my heart further encouraged! As long as the embers are glowing, God can by His providence and Spirit stoke it to flame! "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth…" (Jn 3:8). We cannot determine nor direct the work of God’s Spirit. But we can pray. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Lk 11:13). Do we not desire a great manifestation of God’s love? Shall we not pray?

Today we are enjoying the Supper of the Lord together as a body. What a joy it is to be reminded that we are united to one another not on the subjective ground of shared background or similar personalities, for we are so diverse that we would surely break-apart if such were the basis of our union. But we are united, rather in Christ our risen Lord whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for our sakes. He suffered for us that we might be one with Him. He rose that He might send His Spirit to dwell in us and to work in us to will and to do according to His resurrection power. As long as we are growing in Christ-likeness by the power of His spirit, we are growing in unity (Jn 17:22-23)!

Therefore pray, beloved brethren. Pray that the Lord will revive us. Pray that the Lord will give us grace to reflect His glory more and more as we grow in sanctification individually. The LORD our God is a prayer hearing God. As we pray, we must believe that He is working mightily. He will work first in the lives of those who pray; then He will work in the lives of others prayed for. He will do all these for the sake of Christ whose name we bear, whose glory we shall share.

As a church we are surely glowing with the warmth of Christ; but let us not be contented until we burst forth and are without any doubt shining brightly for Him as a city set upon a hill (Mt 5:14). Amen. W

WLC 175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper?

A. The duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, is seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success; if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it, beg the continuance of it, watch against relapses, fulfil their vows, and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance: but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at, the sacrament; in both which, if they can approve themselves to God and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time: but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled, and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence.