Dave’s sermon yesterday, continuing on the theme "Eating is Believing"/The Lord’s Supper, was mainly about how Communion can be excluding of others.
Paul was rebuking the Corinthians because they were causing cliques by the way they were taking The Lord’s Supper–the rich ate first, and the poor didn’t get enough. Although today we are careful (in most cases) to make sure to say that everyone is welcome, there are other ways that we exclude people. If we take Communion without "examining" ourselves (Paul’s solution for the Corinthians), we are denying the gospel. And Dave pointed out that to "examine ourselves" does NOT mean to try hard to think of all the sins we may have committed. It means to consider what you’re doing when you take communion: you are participating in "the Lord’s death ’til He come". Which means that you are thinking outwardly, since Jesus died for the world. If you take Communion without loving others, you are saying that the Gospel doesn’t work, thereby betraying Jesus as much as Judas did ("..on the night He was betrayed…). Paul was constantly reminding the Corinthians of Jesus’ death ("I preached Christ to you, and Him crucified…").
Dave had an interesting idea: that in today’s "culture of tolerance", we think we’re doing a good thing when we "tolerate" people, who are quite different from us. We say: "We don’t have to like them, we just have to love them", but we don’t go out of our way to make sure those people feel welcome and included. When we examine ourselves before Communion, we must discern that The Lord’s Supper is for the world, not just for "insiders". As we partake, we must be transformed to go from there and proclaim the reality of the Gospel by doing what seems like "nonsense" to the world–loving and including those who are different from us, and those who are difficult to "like".
Hmm… don’t think we realized how good this sermon was until we made these notes!
Walk to Rivendell: On Weather Hills looks to be the remains of "green-grown walls and dikes; in the clefts there still [stands] the ruins of old works of stones".