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Communion Meditations (2017)

Who Do You Say He Is

Originally scheduled for November 12

He was an old friend, though a priest of the Old Holy Catholic Church. We used to do our prison ministry together, before he died. He once made a rather profound statement: “there is really only one question: Who do you say He is?” In eternal terms, it really is the only question that matters. If you say he is the son of God and follow him, yours is eternal life. If not, not. You might think that we rarely get the chance to actually make such a proclamation. This is not so; we make such a proclamation every time we take communion. Rituals have meaning; to partake in a ritual means that you accept and proclaim that meaning. So we might ask, then, what do we say when we partake of communion?

First, we proclaim that he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is not just because he said so, but for a whole history of reasons.

·         He is the atoning sacrifice in accordance with the Old Testament law. He came to be with us underneath that law, in the land full of people who should’ve understood who he really was.

·         He is the atoning sacrifice in accordance with the Old Testament prophecy. Over and over again the Old Testament tells us what the Messiah would be like. There are no other real contenders for the title.

·         He is the atoning sacrifice because that is exactly what he said about himself.

Second, we proclaim that he is Lord and Savior.

·         He is Savior because we have accepted him as our atoning sacrifice. In the process of taking communion we portray that fact.

·         He is Lord because he tells us this is his body and blood. In some sense we take him into our own bodies at this ceremonial meal. This means that we will become like him; he is the example we imitate. He is not Lord by fear and terror, but by admiration and wisdom.

·         He is Lord because he told us he is the only way. “I am the way, the truth and the life” he said. We proclaim to the world that he is the only way every time we take communion.

Finally, every time we take communion we tell the world that he is coming again. The prophecies are not yet fulfilled entirely and we know about his return.

·         He is returning in power. The world into which he came the first time treated him as a common criminal and executed him on a cross. This time, things are going to be very different.

·         He is returning to judge the living and the dead. He is Lord; he is also justice — and will see to it that justice is triumphant. If you think Adolf Hitler didn’t get everything he deserved, just wait.

·         He is returning to take his followers home with him. Paradise awaits us, as he promised.

Take, then and eat — and do so knowing what you are telling the world with every bite.

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