Today's Chapter: 1 Corinthians 11
Specific Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-32
One of the old traditions that cruise ships maintain is getting really dressed up for dinner. There are many reasons for wearing formal clothes to dinner, but a key reason is that it raises expectations: better behavior is expected from the participants, and the participants can expect a better dining experience than they would get at a fast food joint.
Many people still get dressed up to go to church on Sunday, and for the same reason: we are being invited into God's presence, so we want to look and act our best. But every so often we get a special privilege of being invited to dinner with God - we are invited to come to His table for the Lord's Supper. We must dress up for this dinner. Not in the literal sense, of course; God is not going to be impressed no matter how fancy your clothes are.
He does expect you to spend lots of time in preparation for this occasion, though. Just like you would put effort into selecting, ironing and arranging your clothes, you need to be preparing your heart to be joined with Jesus Christ. But God doesn't want people with quickly polished, dapper looking hearts around His table - hearts that look really good on the outside but are full of rot on the inside - He wants you to look within yourself - "to examine yourself before the eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (v28)" He wants you to realize that on your own, the best outfit you can put on is a bunch of filthy rags.
Just like the preparation for a fancy dinner raises your expectations for what the experience will be like, preparing for communion by identifying and repenting of the sin remaining in you will raise your expectation for the experience. The more you realize your life is clothed in filthy rags coming into the Supper, the more you will appreciate by participating in the Supper the transformation God has brought to your life in that you look like the picture above to God because of what Jesus has done for you.
Prayer For The Day: Thank you, dear God, for your invitation to Your table. Help me to take preparation for this experience seriously, so that I might realize my complete dependence upon Jesus Christ. Thank you that as I am washed in His blood, my filthy rags are removed and I become dressed in His perfect righteousness. Help me to act in the way you have made me look. Amen.
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