The Worst of Lies








Some lies are worse than others. There are some lies actually try hard to ‘do good’ or prevent pain, (does my bum look big in this?…) while others only serve to wreak havoc and destruction.

Yesterday evening at our Yanchep community I was teaching around the subject of communion – such a significant and important part of our gathered experience as Christians – and I was reminded again how deep the lie of ‘unworthiness’ cuts.

‘I can’t take communion because I am not worthy…’

‘When I start to live a life that is Godly and pure, then I’ll come back to the table.’

‘I should let the communion bread and wine pass me by because I don’t deserve to participate’.

You’ve heard this stuff right?

Maybe you feel it.

And it’s such a common lie because it’s been peddled so hard over the years. We need to ‘examine ourselves’ and determine if we are ‘worthy to participate’. We need to earn our way back into ‘credit’ before we think about going anywhere near the communion table.

But its a lie… a lie… the worst of lies because the very place where we encounter forgiveness and grace and the love of a father welcoming us home is at this very table. We come because we are not worthy but because he has made us acceptable to God.

Everyone is welcome at this table no matter how screwed up they are. That’s good news! There is absolutely nothing good in the message that when you tidy your life up you can take a seat. In fact it’s the opposite of everything else the Bible teaches.

Remember how context is everything when it comes to interpreting the Bible? Well when pulled out of context those verses sure do seem to say ‘examine yourself’ to which we add ‘and see if your behaviour stacks up’, and in our psyche we feel that this makes sense. Its’ how life works by and large – but it’s not how grace works.

And it’s not even close to what Paul is saying. This chapter in 1 Corinthians 11 concerns some people coming to the meal early and eating all the best food, and getting drunk on the wine, leaving only the crumbs and the cheap drinks for the poor or the slaves who had to work late.

20When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?


This is the context of his critique. It is not even remotely related to our moral stature before God. If it were then we all unworthy. We can never make ourselves ‘worthy’. Isn’t that the whole point of Jesus’ death and God’s forgiveness?

Paul goes on to describe the communion meal and then says:

 27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 33So then, my brothers,  when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

Wait for each other.

Wait for each other.

That’s when we eat and drink unworthily – when we fail to recognise the nature of Christian community and the injustice that gets done when we slight one another and push ahead. Waiting for one another matters to God – because it says we value one another as brothers and sisters. We love each other.

But wouldn’t it be a clever trick to make Christians think they are ‘unworthy’ to participate because of their sin? Wouldn’t it just mess with everything to keep people from experiencing grace and remembering that they are forgiven?

If you have bought this lie then hand it back and breathe in the truth – the good news that says you are acceptable to God because of Jesus’ death and his taking care of our sin.

How did we confuse that with the rich eating all the food?

Perhaps because it’s just the kind of lie that would devastate a community and cripple anyone from finding grace, forgiveness and joy.  It’s a clever ploy – but it’s a lie – the worst of lies.

Treat it as such and know your Father welcomes you no matter what state your life is in.

Moments of Foolishness and of Grace

A part of me smiled wryly on Wednesday when I got back to the lagoon car park and saw my two week old car had been swiped by someone else and there was no note offering insurance details or claiming responsibility.

I was a little bit pissed and also a little bit ‘meh’. It happens and sooner or later my shiny car was going to get less shiny and less new. This was a little quicker than I had hoped… And the really annoying part was that the cost to repair was exactly equal to the excess on my insurance policy.

Lose – lose…

So why was I smiling?

It took me back to a moment around 7 years ago when I entered the car park at IGA Quinns Rocks with my trailer in tow. At the end of a long days work I dropped in to pick up some food. As I left, my trailer scraped the white car next me. It didn’t feel bad, but a little bit of the gunmetal grey of my trailer was definitely showing on the clean white bumper.

I’d like to say it was negligible- but in truth it was scratched. It was damaged. I looked at the car – considered my options and then hopped back in and drove off.

Yep… I did it… ‘What a complete BASTARD!!’ you are thinking.


I agree. It was pretty low.

I actually drove off – told myself ‘it will polish out’ and I hit the road for home.

Sometimes we make bad decisions hey? Sometimes impulse just takes us into dark places and we have to live with the regret.

I chatted about it with Danelle as I knew I’d screwed up. I was ashamed and stunned at my own ability to be so selfish and cold. But what can do you do at that point?

Nothing really unless the next two times you visit that car park you see the same car parked there – and it’s obvious it’s the same car because it’s got your grey paint still smeared along the bumper.

I realised it was probably someone who worked in the shopping centre so I now had the chance to go and apologise – or not…

My first stop was the local Real Estate agent, who I did reticulation work for. I saw the receptionist.

‘Umm, just wondering if anyone here owns a white corolla with plate no ‘xzy’.

Got it in one.

‘Yeah – that’d be Jane. Do you want to see her?’

‘Yes please.’

‘What shall I say it’s in regard to?’

‘Her car.’

‘Her car?’

‘Yes – she’ll understand.’

I was shown thru to an open office of 5 or 6 property managers and agents and Jane was there in the first booth.

I explained what had happened and apologised profusely for being a dick. And she laughed…

She laughed…

And then she told the girl next to her who had been quietly listening in anyway ‘You know how my car got swiped the other day? This is the guy who did it!’ And she laughed…

The word spread around the office and everyone took a look at ‘that guy’ and they laughed… I just smiled at my introduction, hoping none of them recognised me, both relieved and ashamed at the same time.

She actually didn’t care about her car.

‘Here’s my card and my details for insurance or for the cost of repairs. Just send me the bill’

She laughed again. ‘Ah don’t worry about it. It’s only a car! It will get plenty of other dings.’

I wasn’t one bit convinced she meant it – so I pressed her. ‘No look – my bad – double bad in fact- so please let me fix it’

She wouldn’t have a bar of it. Too much hassle with panel beaters – ‘thanks for dropping in – it’s given me a laugh’ – and that was it.

‘Well in case you change your mind’ I said and I left my business card with her.

I never did hear back from her. I guess these days she drives a white car with some gunmetal grey trim around the bumper. I left the office a bit embarrassed but with a weight lifted. I had been able to apologise and attempt to put things right.

So this week, when I saw my car – and no note left to claim responsibility I chuckled (a little) because out there someone is carrying the weight of knowing they have screwed up and left someone else with a bill they shouldn’t have to pay.

Maybe one day they will also see my car in the car park and we will have a similar conversation… and if we do I hope I can show the same grace that woman showed me.

And she’s right – it is just a car – a new one maybe – but there really are bigger fish to fry in life.

(And if you’ve ever done a similar runner and want to get it off your chest feel free to comment! I will hear your confession and absolve you of all wrongdoing:)