In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25
Many of us have taken communion so often, that it’s easy to take our forgiveness for granted. We may even start to feel entitled to God’s blessings. We get lulled into thinking that because we believe in God in a godless world, because we adhere to moral absolutes in an immoral world, and because we treat others well in a loveless world, we are somehow entitled to God’s blessings and protection.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and the minor prophets, all dispel the myth that God promises a reasonable limit on catastrophes for his people. Back then the Jews thought they were safe in Jerusalem. After all, God had promised David that one of his descendants would always sit on the throne and the Messiah would come from his line. They thought God had guaranteed them protection. However the Jews were exiled to Babylon, with no king, Jerusalem in ruins, and the temple destroyed. Where was the blessing and protection of God?
We underestimate our sin and God’s determination to rid us of all that is unholy in our lives. It seems God will use crises and tragedies to achieve our sanctification. Hannah Hurnard describes God’s love like this: “Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible – terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved” (Hinds’ Feet on High Places).
Communion eliminates any sense of entitlement to God’s blessings. Communion reminds us it was our sins that put God’s Son on a cross. We aren’t entitled to anything, while he is entitled to our very lives.1 Corinthians