June 18, 2007

United With Christ

Philippians 2:1-11

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ ... [be] one in spirit and purpose. Phil. 2:1-2


It has been said that we are what we eat. Doctors and scientists have shown that this is truer than most of us would like to admit. Our diets have a great impact on our bodies. The healthier our diets, the healthier our bodies. The same is true in our living for Jesus.

When Jesus invited his disciples to join him in the breaking of bread, he was inviting them not simply to participate in a symbolic ritual. He was inviting them to a spiritual participation in his body and blood. He was telling them to be filled with himself. People outside the family of God may find such an idea repulsive or distasteful, but those in Christ are one with him. They are united with Christ--in union with him.

Participation in the Lord's Supper in faith is an act of accepting Christ into oneself. Christ, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, lives within his followers and fills them with his love. Those who break bread with Christ become more and more like him. In that sense, they become what they eat. The more they take Jesus into themselves, the more they begin to resemble him. Over time, they grow and mature in ways that reflect the grace and love of God. There grows a family resemblance. Others begin to see actions and attitudes that look more like God than like the world. Such oneness, such union, is Jesus' desire for each person within his church.

Jesus, we praise you for inviting us to your table and allowing us to partake of yourself. May we be nourished in such a way that we reflect you and your love. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Dykstra

Pastor Jerry Dykstra was recently appointed as the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After a 15-year career in business, he trained for pastoral ministry and served as the pastor of Cascade Fellowship CRC, Cascade, Michigan, and Faith Christian Fellowship CRC, Walnut Creek, California. He and his wife, Linda, live in Byron Center, Michigan, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

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