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Communion Meditations (2017)

The Nature of God

Originally scheduled for March 5

Christian philosophers have long puzzled over how to express the nature of God. One of the consistent ideas given is that he is the sum of all perfections. That means that he is not just righteous; He is righteousness. He is not just loving; He is love. This nature of God runs up very quickly against the difficulties found in the Scriptures, to wit:

·         God is a God of justice. He defends the widow and the orphan; he has no tolerance for sin and his actions are always just and right.

·         God is love; he is a merciful God. It is his desire to be forgiving — but not without dealing with justice first.

·         We, one at all, are sinners. How does the righteous and just God bring mercy to the sinners that he loves?

The solution to this problem is known to us; anyone who becomes a Christian understands what God has done.

·         He came in the flesh. He could’ve descended an angelic form and left us with a few notes, but that would not fully meet God’s requirements. So he descended to earth in the form of a baby, born like the rest of us and living the life of a poor child until he was grown.

·         He specifically came to be the atonement — the sacrifice which would pay for our sins. Throughout the Old Testament God taught the people of Israel that the atonement sacrifice was necessary. He also taught them that the animal sacrifice must be unblemished, perfect as a representation of innocence.

It beggars the imagination to say this. This is not something human beings would dream up; we believe in the possible. The author of the universe has a much greater imagination.

More than that: his mercy did not require us to memorize and follow a complicated set of regulations; rather, he told us to love one another — just as he loves us. It is mind-boggling to think that he gives us salvation, asking only that we trust him. This was designed to produce not only obedient Christians but devoted ones. Obedience may be commanded; devotion has to be inspired.

Before you now is a simple ritual. It is designed to portray what Christ has done. The bread represents his body, crucified for us. The cup represents his blood, shed for us. He asked simply that you remember his sacrifice, his atonement, by doing this. It is a reminder of the greatest set of facts on this planet. Great love inspires great heights.

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