A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. (NIV)
The tradition at my last church was for four deacons to sit at the front of the church during communion, two on either side of the pastor. Two deacons would pray before the bread and wine were served by all four. The almost complete lack of happy faces in the congregation always surprised me when I sat at the front of the church at communion time. I don’t think I ever counted more than six happy faces out of up to 100 people taking communion.
Happy about Communion?
You could ask what there is to be happy about during communion? After all shouldn’t we come to the communion meal filled with remorse and seeking forgiveness? I don’t dispute the need for remorse, but Jesus died once to pay the price for all of the sin in every human life. I am truly remorseful when I let Him down, but having surrendered my life to Him I rejoice that I am forgiven. Consequently, I find myself overwhelmed by happiness at communion time. There may well be tears running down my face, but they are tears of joy at the huge relief I know because of my redemption. Because Jesus died I have a happy heart. One that should make my face cheerful not only during communion, but all day every day.
It is not easy to maintain a cheerful face all day long. The circumstances of life conspire to steal our happiness and crush our spirits. We have all been there, sometimes to the point that we even question our faith. It troubles me that so often we are oblivious to some of the crushed spirits around us. Some of the non-smiling faces we encounter may truly be in a place where there is nothing to smile about. How can we stand with family, friends, colleagues, folk at church, etc., at such times?
Sometimes only God knows, and sometimes He brings people into our lives at a particular time on a particular day because He knows. I can think of times in my life like this, and there are times I know that He has used me to meet the needs of others. That’s when I really smile. I smile because it reminds me that God cares. God cares about crushed spirits because He just can’t stop loving us. No matter what. And that is a reason to be cheerful.
January 2nd, 2013 at 12:34 am
This entry made me very glad!
I recall those moments of brokenness when my wife and I questioned our faith. It has been over two years since the last time I really questioned, only because through that event I learned that my faith is only sustained by God, the author (giver) and perfecter (grower) of my faith, a gift from Him.
This is not to say we have not been broken nor been through troubling times, but as Peter said, where else can we turn?
This is simply one of many reasons we sing a little louder and praise a little harder during Communion and with other believers!
January 2nd, 2013 at 6:49 am
Thank you Daniel.
January 2nd, 2013 at 6:41 am
I love Communion and when the Family of God is One Accord around the the table of the Messiah, just think the next time we take the bread and the wine it could be with Yeshua Messiah at His Throne. How could we see any sad faces there?
January 2nd, 2013 at 6:43 am
How indeed! Every Communion I am reminded that we are one less before that wonderful day. Another reason to smile!
January 3rd, 2013 at 11:42 am
I totally agree with questioning why we always look so sad during communion. It is one thing to be serious and respectful, but good grief! He came to bring us joy unspeakable and full of glory, not sourpuss faces all sad and sorry. Shouldn’t we get excited about what Jesus did for us? Shouldn’t the remembrance of His mercy and grace bring a smile?
January 9th, 2013 at 1:55 pm
Reblogged this on Jaymlee.
January 9th, 2013 at 2:04 pm
Many thanks for the reblog.