Happy Thanksgiving. At a time to reflect on all of the things we have to be thankful for, what better topic to discuss around the holidays than guilt and shame.
Was the stuffing or Turkey that you cooked and brought to the meal gathering too dry? Did you forget to make the green bean mushroom soup casserole or leave it on the counter at home? Did you show up late to the family gathering or speak too harshly at your kids if they got a little carried away? Perhaps you said too much when discussing the latest political news and views or maybe you should have kept your mouth shut when your mother-in-law commented on your father-in-law’s toupe. If so, maybe you also helped yourself to a nice big helping of guilt and shame for your ride home.
As your mind ruminated on these ideas perhaps you thought that the holidays are a microcosm of what really happens in life. That’s right, not only do you feel like a Thanksgiving loser, but now you feel like a big loser overall!
Well, good news! No one is perfect and no one is ever going to get everything right. In fact, we may make the same mistakes over and over again. Like Browns fans, we always hope it will be better next year, but, the difference is that with Christ we will be victorious.
When it comes time for communion, we are faced with this reality of life. We are asked to examine ourselves. Examine our hearts. If you are sitting here right now struggling with focus and/or you feel like a big Thanksgiving loser, Jesus is encouraging us to not give up.
The purpose of communion is to draw us to Him. To examine our hearts and remember and give thanks for Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. The purpose of this moment is to help us focus. If your mind keeps racing or you continue to make the same mistakes, don’t throw in the towel. Don’t allow feelings of guilt and shame to keep you from working on directing your heart and mind during this moment.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Father, thank you for being faithful and just and for cleansing us from all unrighteousness. We know that w you, all things are possible. thank you for carrying our shame. We confess we are guilty. But our shame isn’t what defines us. Jesus defines us. And even in the moments when our shame weighs on us heavily, we can look to you, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, knowing that He took our guilt and shame away forever. We pray for your guidance as we press on toward growing in our relationship with you.