This week’s “thought question” presented to our congregation as we took communion together was:
For a little backstory:
We have been working through the 10 commandments in our Sunday morning service. We are currently on the third one, to not take God’s name in vain. Gary, the co-minister who was speaking last week, was saying how using God’s name in vain wasn’t necessarily just what we usually think of, that is literally speaking His name in cursing or swearing in some form. It also encompasses shunning ways of paganism (and we sometimes follow some of that without even realizing – do you read and put faith in your horoscope or your zodiac sign??) and making vows using God’s name, among other things. It really is all about the kind of people we are as believers, about the reputation we have and what we look like, about what our faith is based on. It is how we present ourselves as Christians since we bear His name.
Back to this past Sunday. As some of us were standing around discussing the question presented to us, one of my friends spoke up. She said she was looking at it from a mother’s view. As in, you can’t say horrible things to your mother, be disrespectful and mean, and think that you can buy her a gift on Mother’s Day and that makes everything okay. In the same vein, you can’t just go treat people however you want to and act however you want to then come partake of communion and think that makes everything okay.
As she was saying that, my mind was turning that on its head. You can’t “go to church” and take communion and then go out and live your life however you want.
We are the image of God. We were created in His image. Then, when we take Christ’s name as His bride through baptism, that adds another layer. We are not only molded in His image, we have chosen to bear His name in a covenant relationship. So, if we partake in communion with our fellow Christians, then go out into the world and bear any image other than His, what are we telling the world? What is that saying not only about us, but about Christ?
It is up to us to grow closer in our relationship to Christ, and fall deeper in love with Him. If we love Him, we will show it. When we put on His name in that covenant relationship, we are declaring our love to Him. That love won’t be able to help but to shine out of us. We want to show the world who Christ is through our actions in our every day life. This Sunday, Daniel, one of our other co-ministers, mentioned a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that goes, “Go out and preach the gospel and if you must, use words.” If we truly love Christ, and live our lives for Him, others will notice. But you know what? If we wear His name in vain, empty of actions, they will notice that as well.
I remember my parents telling me the I would leave the house for whatever I was meeting up with friends for, “Remember who you are.” Did they think I was going to forget my name? Of course not! They meant remember I was going out as a representative of their family and anything that I did reflected back on them. I was also going out as a representative of God’s family and anything I did reflected back on Him, too.
Who are you representing? Whose image are you reflecting? I want to reflect His image to those around me. I want His love to shine out of me. I want to show the world who He is. I don’t want to wear His name in vain. And I want to be in true communion with Him and His bride, the church.