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Saturday, January 1, 2022

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia

A lot of people take time for reflection in the New Year. It’s a good time to look back at what you wanted to get done, get started, or stop doing and see how that compares with today and tomorrow. Reflection can reveal to us how we’ve slipped back into old habits that we needed to break away from or that we’ve started a new habit we might need to reconsider. Whatever the case may be, let’s always be sure that the standard we use is not judging one another in his or her faithfulness, but is instead comparing our own lives to the standards set by the law of Christ.

For Christians, we don’t need to wait for the New Year for this kind of reflection. Each week, we gather together in the name of God to worship through the offering up of our praises in prayer and in song. We worship through giving and we worship through our time in communion.

This communion, or Lord ’s Supper, is a time that requires reflection. Paul writes to the church in Corinth to remind them of this need. He says that when they would take of the supper “without discerning the body” that they would be found in judgment “against themselves.” (1 Cor 11:29). This is what he means when he says it’s possible to take the supper in an “unworthy manner” -- it’s a manner without thought, without reflection, without discerning the body of believers or the body of Christ (1 Cor 11:27).

So when I worship in communion, Lord help me to discern Christ and His character. His capacity for love & compassion should inspire me to put the needs of others before my own. His capacity for service and devotion should inspire me to find new people to share the Gospel with and in new ways. His humility and submission to the will of the Father should humble me, and allow me to see ways I still need to be conformed into the image of God.

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