American Christian culture has forgotten how to be reverently joyful, so we’ve contrived a counterfeit by twisting ourselves up into a pretzel of sanctimonious insecurity. The emotional posture that’s struck is that of a painfully shy high-school student. Afraid to join in, worried of being chased off, lacking the nerve to stand tall, faking the smile, hating the loneliness but fearful of trying to gain acceptance and being rejected.
Our experience with fallen man has jaded us so that when we’re offered the grace on this table, we think that there’s gotta be a trick, some hidden agenda, a gimmick, or that the hammer’s gotta fall eventually. The Gospel’s free grace which invites us to “come all who are weary,” stirs up our cynicism, our anxiety that God has brought us near, just to pull the rug out from under us. So we come to His table with trepidation & suspicion. If we could, we’d nibble a bit first, just to make sure the grace hasn’t been laced with accusation.
But the truth laid before you is better than you can hope or imagine. The Lord has placed His name on you, and your name is graven on His hands. It wasn’t because you were so smart or upright, mighty or wealthy. Nor can your sin & shame, guilt or fears prevent Him from setting His electing love upon You. God the Father has placed piping hot favor on this table. He’s poured a full goblet of the sweet wine of His tender-mercies.
You deserve none of it, and yet He gives you all of it. All your fear & irreverence should only come here to die. Joy mingled with reverence should kindle into a bonfire here. Come, without fear, without suspicion. Come with joy & come with reverence.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…