Dave Robbins, our youth pastor, preached the message, which he opened with a string of humorous oxymorons including "hospital food," "military intelligence" (well, he implied this one but didn't outright state it because "he wants the military people to like him"), and "casual sex."
Finally, he came to "self righteousness." You can imagine how the sermon went from there. We have no righteousness in our selves at all - we have nothing to offer in the way of goodness. It is only through Christ becoming sin on our behalf that we now have the righteousness of God; that we have righteousness at all!
I was particularly blessed by Dave's highlighting of this passage in 1 Corinthians 11:27-28:
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
Communion is serious. Someone who is not a believer should not partake of it. Believers should search their hearts - "examine themselves," as it were - before partaking. We must consider where our lives are not lining up with our holy identities before we engage in such a vivid picture of the gospel and the holiness in which we now live.
I am so appreciative that the Wildwood pastors care enough to admonish their flock about the importance of a right heart in Communion, because it doesn't seem like a topic that Christians often talk about. It's not a warm, fuzzy verse in any way. Au contraire, it's really a bit alarming - no one wants to incur guilt by taking the Lord's Supper! Such verses can be hard to bring up with a few people, much less an entire congregation.
The Holy Spirit's presence was strong today as the congregation met with the Lord, repenting in humility and joy. My heart was richly blessed with the resplendence of the gospel - in addition, I was reminded that we should not be afraid to talk about the "hard things" in the Bible. They are there for a reason, and God will use them, as he did today. All praise and glory be to him!