Christian churches celebrate the Last Supper. The Scriptures teaches the church to observe it until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. How often it is observed, and the emphasis on the symbolic meanings varies among churches and denominations. In our church, for example, in addition to a public proclamation of our faith that Jesus suffered and died to forgive our sins, a secondary emphasis is put on Christ's words "Do this in remembrance of Me." But, there is another element in the Lord's Supper that needs emphasis. It is in the words, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup" 1 Corinthians 11:24, 28.
A reality of this world, is that stuff and things all need periodic repair and maintenance whether it be cars, computers, homes, or our bodies. Our spiritual life needs regular maintenance and repair also. The inherent moral weakness of our race tempts all of us to evil and it runs deep. It is so serious that even sincere Christians need constant support and remedial action against the effects of skepticism, materialism, and flagrant immorality. Regular participation in worship services and Communion is a major resource for renewing and refreshing spiritual life, and restraining the seeds of evil that unavoidable and continuous exposure to moral corruption inevitably spread. David prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting" Psalms 139:23-24.
Two areas should be included in a spiritual self examination.
The quality God most desires to see in man is spoken by the words of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount; "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." A corruption of purity that most characterizes society today is in the area of sexuality. The complete environment seems obsessed with it. Such an obsession undermines the holy institution of marriage which is the glue that holds civilized society together. Hardly a week passes without some shocking sex scandal involving someone in a position where high moral character is expected and required.
Our language is another important area. English is the most beautiful language in the world, but it has degenerated to a level of vulgarity that is sometime barely recognizable. However, deceit and blatant lies can often be masked in the refined words of college professors and politicians as well. Jesus said that we will be judged by the words that we speak. Proverbs 18:21 reads, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." The Lord also made clear the fact that what comes out of our mouths reveals the true measure of character. The prayer of David is a prayer we all need to pray. "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalms 19:14).
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.