17 April, 2024

Take Communion and Take Heart

by | 18 September, 2023 | 0 comments

By Doug Redford 

One of the marvels of modern technology is how it allows us to communicate with other people and receive information. Grandparents can communicate with their grandchildren who live thousands of miles away. We can receive instant instruction on how to do any number of tasks around the house, whether preparing meals or doing car repair. We can watch news stories and sporting events from around the world as they are happening. 

One downside of this is the constant exposure to the turmoil and tragedy that characterizes much of our world. Watching the news is no longer limited to an hour or two a day; we can see news stories unfolding 24/7. If we are not vigilant, such sights day after day can take a spiritual toll on us. They can cause us to forget that, as Paul wrote, “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). 

Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). That seems rather obvious; anyone could draw that conclusion. It’s what Jesus said before and after that statement that makes it so noteworthy. Before it, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” After it, he said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  

On the night Jesus made this statement, a special kind of “trouble” awaited him, and he knew exactly what it was: his arrest and eventual death by crucifixion. On that same night, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper with his disciples. In just a few hours, it would look as if Jesus had been overcome, that his enemies had succeeded in silencing his voice and erasing his influence. But three days later, that voice and that influence returned in resurrection power.  

Ask yourself, “What is it about life in this world that tends to make me feel overcome?” That answer will vary from person to person. You can likely give more than one response. Each of us has personal circumstances or situations involving family or friends or ourselves that can weigh us down, that illustrate the “trouble” that accompanies life in this world. 

Jesus contrasted life “in this world” where there is trouble with life “in me” where there is peace. Communion offers us the opportunity to remember that while we must live in this troubled world, we have also chosen to live in Jesus, in the kingdom “not of this world” (John 18:36).  

As we take Communion together, let us also, as Jesus said, “take heart.” The Overcomer has made each of us overcomers. 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Now retired, he continues to write and speak as opportunities come. 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Recent postings: Lycoming Christian Church in Linden, Pa., is seeking a minister of children, youth, and young adults. Michigan City (Ind.) Christian Church needs a senior minister. Impact Christian Church (Moon Township, Pa.) looks to hire an executive pastor. The Christian Campus Foundation (CCF) at the University of Illinois is seeking a full-time director of campus ministry. And more . . .


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.