Every time we celebrate communion, we have the opportunity to consider God’s graciousness to us. Are we staggered at the magnitude of the sacrifice God made for us? Are we overwhelmed by the love and mercy of God? Are we grateful?

Have you ever said, “I can’t believe God would be so good to me?”

When we fully grasp how much God has done for us, it transforms us because we realise how great God’s mercy is. His mercy transforms us in a way punishment and reprimands never do.

Punishments are an ineffective way of changing behaviour. So many criminals re-offend, the same children are in trouble at school and parents are repetitive in their rebukes. However, when we realise that we’re recipients of the most undeserved mercy and grace, we’re humbled and changed on the inside.

When the prophet Nathan came to David after he’d committed adultery with Bathsheba. David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). When he experienced God’s forgiveness, he wanted to be different.

That’s the effect mercy is supposed to have on us. It’s supposed to humble and change us. Yet when we read the history of God’s people in the Old Testament, we find that they took God’s mercy for granted with little thought to its enormity or its value. Sometimes I find I’m no different. However, when I take the time to remember Jesus’ sacrificial death, the agony he suffered on the cross, the massive price God paid to forgive me and the extravagant gift of God’s mercy, my heart is indeed humbled and changed.

I realise afresh how surprising it is that God would choose to take responsibility to deal with my sin. And my surprise leads to gratitude.

Let’s pray …

Thank you Lord for sacrificing your life on the Cross, for the price you paid so we could be forgiven and for the extravagant gift of your mercy and grace.

Thank you for the symbol of the bread which reminds us of your body broken for us, as you bore our sins. Now we have freedom from guilt, freedom from shame and freedom from trying to earn our salvation. And we are grateful.

And thank you for the symbol of the cup which reminds us of your blood shed for us. Your blood speaks to us of life. You gave your life so we might have a new life now and forever.

In Jesus’ Name,

For other communion talks click here.