Our generation lives under constant paranoia that some mistake you make will be caught on camera & go viral, exposing you to the ridicule of millions. Or maybe the mob will discover that you hold some view which was mainstream ten minutes ago, but has fallen out of favor with the wise-ones in the Gender Studies hall of your state college.
This is fear of man writ large. As a society loses the fear of God, the fear of man both dominates our psyche, and compels us to have a deep suspicion of others. This phenomenon is why party members in communist countries are willing to spy on their fellow countrymen, and will betray one another to the authorities for the petty crimes which the tyrants have invented.
When you think that Man sees, hears, and knows everything, the only recourse is to join in the battle and hope to outlast your neighbor. The only way to dismantle this tangled network of anxious rivalry, and fearful envy is to rest in the knowledge that God’s eye is on the righteous & the wicked (Ps. 34:15-16). Paranoia over the supposedly all-seeing eye of the mob is to admit that you don’t believe that God’s eye of fatherly love is on you.
God sees it all. His watchful eye is on the righteous for their protection and preservation. His eyes behold all the vile schemes of wicked men, and He brings them to ruination, catching them in their own net.
Here on this table are tokens of the saints’ peace. God invites you to feast at ease. He’s clothed us in righteous robes. He’s covered all our sins. He’s purging out all our remaining corruption. When we walk in the light of His face, by taking this bread & wine as tokens of His favor, we are liberated from fearing the face of the mob.
As the evangelical hymn-writer put it quite aptly, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” This meal is a memorial that the Father looks on Christ and pardons us. He grants us sweet union with Himself, the Three-in-one, and with all His elect children. He drives out all our fears, assures us, through Christ, of that His divine favor rests upon us.