Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Altar Rails

I’ve been thinking about the communion rails in our Sanctuary.

On Sundays as I kneel to partake of our Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament, I’ve been looking at the communion rails.  They’re looking a little worn – a little ragged.  I’m not surprised though.  They’ve been serving as our communion rails for nearly a quarter century.  They’re scratched and dented.  Some of the ends are chipped.  You can see a few of the nail heads beginning to emerge.  They’re a little worn – a little ragged.  They’ve seen quite a bit of action.

Which got me thinking about the cross…our Lord’s cross…the vertical and horizontal pieces of wood upon which our Savior actually died.  The Romans didn’t fabricate a new cross for each execution.  The vertical post stayed in the ground amongst others on Golgotha.  The cross piece would have been used again and again as criminals carried them out and then their arms were nailed to the beam.  Those cross pieces would have been ragged and worn, blood dried into the wood.  But on the day Jesus carried His cross and was nailed to it.  The entire cosmos would be affected.  Because on that cross, He redeemed the whole world, this sinful world.  He died on that cross so that you might be forgiven and restored of all the wrong you have done, all the transgressions you have committed, all the pain you have caused.  He paid for all of that with His suffering and death on the cross – a worn and ragged piece of wood.

And now, today, you receive your Savior, His body and blood given and shed for you across a worn and ragged piece of wood – our communion rails.  There at the rail, you receive forgiveness, eternal life, salvation, a foretaste of what our Lord will bring when He returns to bring to completion the consummation of all things – restoring creation – restoring you – for an eternity in the Kingdom of God.  And you get a foretaste of that reality right here across a worn and ragged piece of wood – our communion rails.  They may not look like much, but those rails are where our Lord prepares and gives you a feast – of Himself – for you and all of your brothers and sisters in Christ gathered around those rails.  

They may not look like much, but isn’t it amazing what our Lord does for us at them! 

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