An Old, New Celebration
By Daniel Schantz
“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing, if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9, The Living Bible).
A certain priest had memorized his liturgy, which he said three times a day, every day of the year. Because he had done this for many years, he knew the lines like his own name.
One day he started his ritual, and suddenly his mind went blank. He could not think of the first word. He could not remember ANY of the words! Embarrassed, he reached for his guidebook and read his lines aloud.
Later in the day he wondered. What went wrong? I’ve said those lines maybe 5,000 times. How could I suddenly forget them? As he thought about it, he began to realize that every time he said his lines, he grew more and more weary of them, until finally he had lost all motivation to say them. At this point, his mind rebelled and refused even to let him remember the words.
Doing the same thing over and over again can get boring, or it can stay interesting, depending upon our motivation. Some people think that having the Lord’s Supper every week gets tiresome, but it doesn’t have to be.
Americans eat about six times a day, counting snacks, but we seldom tire of good food.
We sleep several hours every night, but a soft bed is always welcome.
We drive our cars every day, but we are usually eager to go somewhere.
It’s not repetition alone that makes something boring, bur rather our failure to remember our motivation and our failure to pay attention to what we are doing.
If the Lord’s Supper has become old stuff, perhaps I need to go back and read again the happy tale of Christmas, the intriguing story of the life of Christ, the thrilling account of the resurrection.
If the Lord’s Supper is tiresome, perhaps it’s because I am tired. I need to go to bed earlier on Saturday night, so I will be refreshed and able to concentrate on this ceremony.
If the Lord’s Supper seems uninteresting, I need to remember the dark and tangled web of sins that Jesus took away when he stretched out his hands on the cross.
There is nothing boring about forgiveness.
Daniel Schantz is a professor emeritus of Central Christian College of the Bible, Moberly, Missouri.