Church has felt very ... personal these past few weeks.
Situations that have made my desperate need of the gospel so clear; family difficulties and disappointments that have wrung my heart hard; watching the book of Acts translated to dialogue and music and dance played out by our local teens in homeschool co-op; walking through the events of Holy Week and the joy of Easter ... Everything is striking a heart already raw, and I find myself often in tears at the very immensity of the story; our story, the Gospel.
But last night, communion? It surprised me.
I've received bread and wine many, many times over the years, of course. I try to breathe deep, to stop, to still, to ponder. But last night, as all of life's distractions whirled insistently and I put the cracker into my mouth and the whole church bit down--
How often have I bit down with my mouth, crushing His body?
It brought me up short, froze my mouth right at the moment the bread broke into pieces, tears filling my eyes once again.
Proverbs 14:1 tells us, "The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands." This is such a powerful verse, and I've often thought it needed a parallel one that used the word "mouth" in place of hands. How often have you heard a woman do that? How often have we been women doing that--tearing down our homes with our mouths?
When we do it, we crush the body of Jesus, right between our teeth.
Lord, help us.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14-15
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.~Prov. 18:21
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Eph. 4:29
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. ~Matt. 15:18
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak... ~Matt. 12:36
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. ~Jas 1:26
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ~ Jas. 3:1-12
I am grateful that Jesus body *has been* crushed; that He has already paid the price for my thoughtless, hurtful, rash words. I am also incredibly grateful that His payment was not merely for my sins but for sin, and that He therefore is capable of working in my heart and helping me change!
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. ~ Prov. 16:24
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~ Prov. 25:11
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. ~Prov. 16:23-24
This is my prayer today: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!" (Ps. 141:3) And make this true of me, Lord--"She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" (Prov. 31:26).
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. ~Ps. 19:14