W. A. Criswell tells a story about the Duke of Wellington once attending a small church in England. It was their custom to come to the front and kneel down to receive communion. The Duke, who had just been honored as a hero in the battle of Waterloo, came forward and knelt down.
About the same time, a poor ragged old man came down from the other side of the building and knelt beside the Duke. Immediately a deacon came up behind the old man, gently placed a hand on his shoulder, and quietly whispered for the man to move farther away from the Duke. Or to rise and wait until the Duke had taken communion
But the eagle eye and the quick ear of the great commander caught what was happening. Immediately he clasped the old man’s hand and held him to prevent his rising. Then in a reverential but distinct undertone, the Iron Duke said, “Don’t move; we’re all equal here.”
Today, I’m preaching in Polson, Montana. I’ve never been there before. I’ve never met anyone from that congregation. I don’t know its demographic composition of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. But it makes no difference. I come to commune with Christ and my brothers and sisters, with whom I share a spiritual equality.
Today, all over the world Christians are meeting. Black. White. Hispanic. Asian. Indian. Filipino. In some congregations, there will be a mixture of ethnic groups. We may belong to different political parties. And espouse differing views of society, culture, and government.
Some fellow Christians may have experienced discrimination. Some feel disenfranchised. Some are hurting. Others are perplexed. Many are confused. And all are deeply concerned about the challenges facing our world during these perilous times.
But we put all these external differences aside because we share a common bond. “We are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). We’ve all been redeemed by the Savior. Bought by His blood. Saved by His grace. Called into a spiritual fellowship. Together. One that transcends earthly concerns.
Let’s remember we’re more alike than we are different. Our faith is founded in Someone and something greater than this world offers. Our goals our Godward. Our hope is Heavenward. Our citizenship is not of this world.
Today, as you come to communion, get a good look at your Lord who died for you. And then look over at your brother or sister, for whom He also died. And remember–“we’re all equal here.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman