Anglican Morning Devotion for 30 November 2021 Anno Domino
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Just as God called Noah and all his family to come into the Ark: “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark,” (Genesis 7:1), so does the Lord Jesus Christ invite His elect to come unto Him as the Ark of their salvation in the last days – “Come unto me.”
How similar these two invitations are! What benefit did Noah and his family expect by entering the Ark? First of all, they enjoyed the benefit of being obedient to the Lord God. Secondly, they would enter a secure Ark of protection from the coming calamity of the Deluge. Thirdly, they would have provision to sustain them throughout the flood waters. Fourthly, they would enjoy the blessing of becoming the new Creation on the other side of the Flood.
All, and more, are the benefits of the Elect in Christ. By entering into the Heart of Christ, we enjoy the benefit of being obedient to our Sovereign Lord; we enjoy perfect security for our souls; We have the provision of the Bread of Heaven to sustain us; and, finally, we are blessed to be born anew into a life eternal with Him.
Of course, this is the Advent Season – a time of the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas, and of looking forward to the time of His second coming in power of great glory. It must be that Christ comes to us first before we can come to Him. In coming to Him, we become One with Him; and if One with Him, then One with the Father and with the Holy Ghost because He is One with the Father and the Spirit. We are called by Him out of the death of sin into the everlasting life He has ordained for us to walk in. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
It is important to observe that we do not rest on our laurels after our union with Christ. As Paul says in the above text, the calling is issued with a qualifier: “. . . to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Our Lord has often called us for a purpose in His Word. Following His resurrection, our Lord hailed His disciples who were fishing on the Sea of Galilee; “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.” (John 21:12) This was an invitation to a final dining of fellowship with His disciples ere His ascension. In that repose, He shared more profound truth to His disciples, especially Peter who had denied Him. But the Lord invites us today to “Come and Dine” on His Word and fellowship at His Communion Table. A table of dining is a place where one relaxes and enjoys the fellowship of the gathering. That is what our Lord invites us to partake of in His Church, and even in times of lonely desolation. It is a time of grace and love.
At that last circle of dining on the shores of Galilee, the Lord demonstrated His great grace in forgiving and saving. Peter had wept bitterly for the three days following his denial of the Lord at the court of the Sanhedrin, but, now, the Lord tenderly leads Peter in understanding the level of love expected of a disciple. Peter, as a result, never again weakened of courage. Among His last counsels to Peter and the others was the responsibility they bore in feeding – not eating – His sheep.
Jesus is forever inviting His elect to Come unto Him. After His baptism by John the Baptist, two disciples of John followed after Christ and asked where he dwelled. If we are to have a close friend and brother, it is only natural that we know where he lives. Jesus turned: “He saith unto them, Come and see.” (John 1:39) One of those disciples was Andrew. The moment he came to know Jesus, he immediately went out and sought his brother Peter to come as well. That is part of our duties and blessings of being a disciple – to invite others to come and see.
Once Christ issues the invitation to come and follow Him, the power of the Holy Ghost to bring that meeting to fruition is irresistible. Even if we are dead in trespasses and sin, and unable to hear or see truth, or to do anything at all to save ourselves, we will respond to His invitation to “Come unto Me!” Lazarus of Bethany had no life at all. He was dead for four days ere our Lord Jesus Christ came to the door of his stone tomb and called out, “Lazarus, Come Forth!” Lazarus came forth. Even the dead will hear that voice and obey. Have you heard that invitation? Have you obeyed?