Think a Minute: This week, I would like to tell a story that helps illustrate how sacred is the act of taking Communion with a pure and thankful heart.
During the war in Vietnam, a young West Point graduate was sent over to lead a group of new recruits into battle. He did his job well, trying his best to keep his from ambush and death. But one night when they had been under attack, he was unable to get just one of his men to safety.
The soldier left behind had been severely wounded. From their trenches, the young lieutenant and his men could hear him in his pain. They all knew any attempt to save him – even if it was successful—would almost certainly mean death for the would-be rescuer. Eventually the young lieutenant crawled out of hiding toward the dying man. He got to him safely but was killed before he could save himself.
After the rescued man returned to the States, the lieutenant’s parents heard that he was in their vicinity. Wanting to know this young man whose life was spared at such a great cost to them, they invited him to dinner.
When their honored guest arrived, he was obviously drunk. He was rowdy and obnoxious. He told off-color jokes and showed no gratitude for the sacrifice of the man who died to save him. The grieving parents did the best they could to make the man’s visit worthwhile, but their efforts went unrewarded.
Their guest finally left. As the dad closed the door behind him, the mother collapsed in tears and cried, “To think that our precious son had to die for somebody like that.”
Beloved, that’s exactly what Jesus did. Romans 5:8 tells us: “But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
That’s what we are to remember as we come to Communion; to celebrate but also to remember that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. We are to remember Him, to remember His sacrifice on the Cross, to remember how great is His love for us. And, we are to take Holy Communion gratefully and with a pure heart. Amen!
– Pastor Rob Pesola