Originally scheduled for July 2
The Fourth of July in America holds a unique
position in American hearts. It celebrates the Declaration of
Independence, issued July 4, 1776. We celebrate:
We tend to
do it in large groups. Celebrations are seldom a solo event.
We eat! A
celebration often does have a feast attached.
celebrate the Fourth of July in our own unique way. It’s not so much
a remembrance as a party — a joyous party.
The holiday has its own music, written by John
Philip Sousa and its own method — fireworks. It is a uniquely joyous
celebration for Americans. Have you ever considered the parallels
this has to the celebration of communion?
We do it in
It is a
ceremonial meal that we eat.
It has its
own unique way of being celebrated.
But, is it joyous? It certainly doesn’t seem so
by the way most of us approach it. Perhaps you might consider it
from our Lord’s point of view:
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who
for the joy set before Him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the
right hand of the throne of God.
(Emphasis added.) What joy could Jesus see in
the shame of the cross? We might look at these items:
cross he will return to the Father, and the glory he had before the
cross is through, the atonement was accomplished. Anyone who has
known the joy of bringing someone to salvation through Christ can
understand, in a small way, how joyous that must’ve been for him.
looked past the struggle to the reward — the name above all names,
being Prince and being Savior.
Likewise, we too should look beyond this life
and see the joy that is coming. For those who put their trust in
Christ, communion reminds them not only of the atonement but of the
return of Christ in glory. The dead shall rise; the living will be
transformed and we shall reign with him, as it is promised in the
Scriptures. The joy ahead is far greater than the suffering behind.