What do you think about rules?
We grow up seeing rules as a bit of a pain – restrictions placed upon us by our parents and teachers which seem to achieve nothing other than stopping us from enjoying ourselves. Of course, as we mature, we realise that rules do have a good purpose. They protect us from doing things which might sooner or later cause us harm, they lead us to do things we might not like but which will sooner or later bring us good, and they ensure that we are able to keep our freedom but not let it grow so far that it limits other people’s freedom. Chances are that one day we’ll have children of our own and we’ll impose these same rules on them, not to frustrate or upset them but to help and care for them because we love them.
God has rules for us because he loves us and wants us to live our lives in the way that will bring good to us and to others. In today’s reading, Paul tells the Corinthians about some of the rules affecting how we behave at church:
Strict rules about hats and hair may not be so important in our society now but we should still be very mindful about our appearance as this is an important way of showing our self-respect, our respect for others, for men and for women, and our respect for God. If we come to church dressed in a way that upsets others then we spoil their worship, we upset God and so we spoil our own worship too.
The Lord’s Supper, or Communion as we normally call it, is such an important part of our Christian life – quite awesome really – that we must treat it with the respect and reverence it deserves. This was started by Jesus himself when he asked us all to eat bread and drink wine as an act of remembrance for what he did for us – he died for us! – he gave his body and blood (not bread and wine) for us! – he paid the price with his life that we should have paid for all our sins so that we could be forgiven and reunited with God! So let’s follow the rules, let’s remember this awesome truth as we share in Communion, let’s not just think of it as a bit of food and drink, let’s not treat it lightly and let’s not take Communion whilst we’ve fallen out with each other or are angry with someone – how can we remember God’s forgiveness for all we’ve done and not forgive someone else for what they’ve done?
Dear Lord, help us to follow your rules not just when we are at church but throughout every part of our daily lives so that we will bring good into our lives and into the lives of all around us.
Think about how God’s rules apply to your life at the moment and remember that he wants you to follow these rules because he loves you so much and wants only the best for you.