The 10th Commandment prohibits coveting anything that belongs to our neighbor. This is not merely a negative command; it also implies a positive duty. It means that we are required by God to rejoice in what God has given to our neighbors. Refusal to do so is a form of hatred.
When you see your neighborís success, her house, his truck, her body, his wife, their family, their joy, their vacations Ė do you rejoice? Or is there a subtle Ė or not so subtle pit in your stomach? And you might say, well, I donít mind them having those things, but why canít I?
But this actually reveals why covetousness is such a hideous evil. It can sometimes be directed at the people who have what you want, but it is always directed at the God who has given. The hatred can be on the human level (and often is), but the hatred is always directed at the God who gives, the God who distributes His gifts as He pleases.
So this is part of why God invites you here week after week. You need to be reminded to give thanks. Gratitude is the great antidote to envy. So first: thank God for what He has given to you, not vaguely, not while rolling your eyes. Make a list and start reviewing it regularly. What has God given to you? Life? Lungs that work without you telling them to? A heart that beats every second? Hands? Two legs? Do you have taste buds? What about eyes? You are a walking testament to Godís lavish generosity. And on top of all that, youíve been forgiven all your sins and clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Ė thatís what this meal means. It means that God has given Himself for you and to you, in Christ.
And that leads to the second thing: all of Godís gifts are fundamentally ways in which God is giving Himself to us. But this means that God knows exactly how to give Himself to us. Some of it is the same and some of it is different. Some have greater trials, and some have greater triumphs. But it is the same Christ, the same God, the same salvation given to all who believe. So look down your aisle, look behind you, look in front of you. What has God given? He has given us Himself. He has given us all that we need. And God is good all the time.
So come and welcome, to Jesus Christ.†