Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Christ's Blood Shed for Me


LIFE LESSON: Christ's Blood Shed for Me
by Debbie Paxton

It was my turn to help serve communion in our church service. I held the cup. When each person came to me after having broken off a piece of the bread, I would say “Christ’s blood, shed for you,” as they dipped it into the wine. As I watched them line up before me….my family of believers, prayer partners, friends – I felt the emotion well up inside me. Christ’s love for His children flowing through the sacrament. His love for them touching off my own compassion for these people who have come to mean so much to me. It was a holy, divine time: serving them and feeling His Holy Spirit flow through the words I spoke to each one, as we remembered together His ultimate act of service for us.

“Christ’s blood, shed for you, Barb.” I whispered to my friend of twelve years, whose children go to youth group with mine, whose husband is a prayer partner and close friend. Barb, my friend with the lump in her breast which was just diagnosed as cancer, her second go around with cancer in five years. She looked into my tear-filled eyes and held my hand around the challis, “Amen, praise be to God,” she whispered back.

“Christ’s blood, shed for you, Hunter.” Hunter, who is home for good, having graduated after five years of college. Hunter, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and was raised up in the church by a village of family members in the body of believers. Hunter, who often interrupts our pastor’s sermons, but always seems to have something profound to say when you really listen to him. He smiled at me and dipped his bread into the cup, walking in that unusual gait I have come to love, “Amen!” he said, with gusto.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Chuck.” Chuck who was healed of MS on a church mission trip to Guatemala, but still carries the limp and scars. Chuck, who pulled me aside on that same mission trip and gently told me to give my daughter more space and let her spread her wings a little. And then told me he would hold my hand when it was scary to do just that. Chuck, who is the closest thing to an earthly father I have ever known. “Amen,” he said, grabbing both of my hands in his huge ones, “Amen.”

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Kyle and Melissa,” our youth pastor and his wife – so young, but with hearts that seek hard after God. Kyle and Melissa, who took communion together because they’ve watched my husband and I do that, always, each week. Kyle and Melissa, who have watched us parent and be husband and wife and do life and have learned and grown and joined us in it. Kyle and Melissa, who quite simply, own a piece of my heart.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Leah, Julia and Anna.” My daughters' love, most wonderful gift from Abba. I know it’s embarrassing that Mom is serving communion, and that you won’t quite look me in the eye, but Christ’s blood shed for each of you precious ones.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Aaron.” Aaron - young man who is a boy still, really. A boy who has captured my daughter's heart, a boy who seeks the Lord and loves Him, but is enticed by this world still. A boy I would like to shake sometimes, but whom I can’t help smile at, as he shyly dares to look me in the eye and say, “Amen.”

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Janet…and Deana and Bonnie and Amber.” Women who share the study of God’s word with me on Monday nights in Bible study. Women who pray for me as I also pray for them, who share my passion for Christ and also my know my failures. Christ’s blood shed for you, my sisters in Christ.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, John, Tonya, Julia, Jennifer and Josie.” Family of God who have three girls our own girl’s ages, gift from Papa to our family. Thank you for the sleepovers and movies and laughter on tire swings, for loving our girls and caring for them as we also love and care for yours. Christ’s blood, shed for you all.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Vera.” Elder saint, who has gnarled hands and white hair yet remains open to the new things the Holy Spirit brings to her and this, His church, here on the corner of Chestnut. Who has never complained about new worship songs or guitars instead of the organ, but who goes with the flow and lifts her hand in praise to her God.

“Christ blood shed for you, David.” Husband of mine and gift from Papa. I love the way tears come easily to your eyes when you receive communion, the feel of your hand over mine on the challis and your whispered “Amen.” I love how hard you work for us and your laughter and the way you love me, no matter what, wounds and all.

“Christ’s blood, shed for me,” as I dip my own piece of bread into the cup. How is it that He did that for me? And all that He does for me daily still? I love Him, more than anything. Christ’s blood shed for me indeed.


Thoughts to ponder today:
How well do you know the people around you, the person sitting next to you on Sunday morning? Have you truly become the body of Christ?
How well do you know The One whose body was broken for you? whose blood was spilled out for you? Do you truly know your Savior?

Prayer:
Jesus, come and do a new work in me today. Let me truly experience your body and blood as my salvation; your body and blood as the living Christ, the Church. I want to be one with you, Jesus, and with the Father through your Holy Spirit. I long to be woven into a tapestry of your love, in touch with everything there is to know about you. Fill me, overwhelm me, with your LOVE and pour out your love to others through me!
In Jesus Name, Amen.
I love you and I am praying for you, 
Cindy


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It's a joy to introduce you to my close friend and personal prayer partner, Debbie Paxton. As you can tell, she has a deep love for the Lord. She is very gifted in the Spirit and a powerful intercessor. We are so different, yet we are so alike. Love you Debbie!

Debbie is very happily married to Dave. She set aside her career to raise her three daughters. This past year, she re-entered her chosen field of counseling, this time with years of life experiences through which she is able to help others. She loves to work out, ride her bike on the trail, and hang out with the Lord. She leads the prayer and intercession team at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Debbie. Your words truly embody what it means to be a church family and a part of the Body of Christ.

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  2. Beautiful devotional! I am reminded of our large church and its many worshippers who comprise the Body of Christ. Even though we can't possibly all know each other, we are still members of one body.

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  3. Beautiful and heart spoken blog, Debbie. Thank you for sharing with us. SallyAnne Trissel

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  4. So beautifully written and from the heart. How priviledged you are to be used in this special ministry. A wonderful reminder that Christ not only died for us individually but also collectively that we may be a mighty force as a church body totally sold out to Him.

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