A few years ago I was sitting in the back of a crowded auditorium, beside my brother Jonathan. (He had become a refuge for me in the darkest season of my life.) I was nursing the self-inflicted wounds of my own depravity and listening to the pastor speak about the voice of God’s Spirit.
In the waning moments of the service, the congregation was invited to come forward to feast on the Table of Grace; The communion of saints finding wholeness in the body and blood of Jesus.
I did not go forward.
It’s not that I didn’t believe in the healing power of the Table, it was just this overwhelming sense of unworthiness. (After all, there is a verse that commands each of us to self-examination before taking part of communion.) I had resigned that I would not participate in the sacramental Eucharist until I had been reconciled to the family of believers at Lakeshore Church. They were my home, and I would be a restless vagabond anywhere else.
The truth is, I had resigned to sit in the dirt even though I could hear Christ ringing the dinner bell. My heart was starving for the love and acceptance and forgiveness of His company, but I had been flogging myself with hatred and assumed a new identity: the lost sheep.
My brother whispered in anger at me. “Your theology is wrong!”
Yeah, maybe. But I was being honest in my feelings of unworthiness.
“It is precisely because of this brokenness that you need to find healing at the Table of Grace… now more than ever!”
Yesterday I participated in the beautiful sacrament, for the first time in what seemed like a million years. Indeed a whole new identity has been born. I am not who I was, as God changes people from the inside out – His grace rewrites their story, His mercy reinstates their mission, and His love repairs their wounds.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; His love endures forever!”