This past Sunday, while sharing The Lord’s Supper with fellow worshippers, I was challenged to repent of my sins.
Before eating the bread that symbolized Christ’s broken body or drinking the wine that served as a reminder of His blood shed because of my sins, I did a lot of repenting. I did so, not so much to escape condemnation from God on Judgment Day, but in deep remorse for all the hurts my sins had inflicted on others. I remembered those who may have thought less of Christ because of having noticed things I had said or done.
I am an old man now, but when I reflect on my past, I realize there have been in my attitudes and behavior over the years expressions of the sexism that I now condemn. I know that there have been times when, in the face of racism and homophobia, I remained silent and did nothing – and that silence was sin. And there have been occasions when I have been disingenuous and compromised my testimony for Christ. It would be easy for me to go into specifics, but I don’t know what good that would do. Deeds done in time are irrevocable.
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At this communion service this past Sunday, as I ate the bread and drank the wine, I most of all remembered how my sins have caused Jesus agonizing pain. Upon reflection, I realized that none of the nails that the Roman soldiers drilled through His hands and feet hurt Him more than my own personal ugly sins…and, at this communion service, I repented – big time – and I inwardly wept.
All I can hope for is that on the day when each of us will have to give account of our sins that those who I have offended will have taken on something of the grace and forgiveness of Christ, so that they might respond to me as I know He will.