One of the phrases that you’ve heard around here for many years is the phrase “keeping short accounts.” What that means is that we want to be the kind of Christians who don’t have backlogs of sin, guilt, or resentment. We want to confess our sins and forgive one another as soon as we know something is off.
David says in Ps. 32 that when he didn’t confess his sins right away, his bones ached and he was miserable all day long. And when people are miserable, they have a hard time getting along with other people. It’s hard to have good fellowship when you have unconfessed sin. And this is because God doesn’t want you to be happy when you aren’t happy with Him. But the same Psalm says “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity” (Ps. 32:1-2). The Hebrew word for “blessed” also means “happy.” Happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven, the one the Lord doesn’t count his sins against.
This table is a standing declaration of all of this. Here, we commune with the Lord, but we also commune with one another. You can’t commune with the Lord if you are out of fellowship with a member of His body. You can’t really commune with a member of His body if you are out of fellowship with the Lord. Either way, if you are a true Christian, if you are out of fellowship with God or one of His people, you won’t have the fullness of Christian joy. This is because Christian joy is fundamentally the certain knowledge that your sins are forgiven. You can’t have Christian joy if your sins aren’t forgiven, and if your sins aren’t forgiven you aren’t in fellowship with God or his people and you’re pretty miserable. But if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
So joy is set before you today. This table declares the forgiveness of sins in the blood of Christ. If you have that forgiveness, then you have that joy, and if you have that joy, you know you are in fellowship with God and His people. We celebrate this meal every week because we want to stay in that joy every day of every week. This meal reminds us to make sure we do. Weekly communion reminds us to keep short accounts, to confess our sins and forgive one another quickly. It reminds us to keep our hearts clean, so that we can stay in fellowship, so that we can stay in the fullness of joy.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.