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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Blood Donor

Originally scheduled for September 16

Those of you who are regular blood donors at the Red Cross are familiar with the questionnaire that must be filled out every time you give blood. It has grown in length over the years, as new threats to the purity of the blood supply in America have arrived. It starts off with a number of questions about your general health, followed by some questions about medications that you might be taking. Some of those medications can bar you from giving blood. You wouldn’t want a blood transfusion full of blood thinners.

Then there comes the strange series of questions that all begin the same way: “Have you ever, even once, had sex…”. That’s sex with various people, in various ways. Sometimes reading that questionnaire can give you the impression that your sex life is obviously somehow defective if you haven’t done at least some of these things. You wonder sometimes whether or not they’re going to ask you if you have ever had sex with a giraffe. Then you wonder how you would do such a thing.

If you look at it from the other end of the process, however, it becomes quite a bit clearer. Imagine that you, or one of your children, needed to receive a blood transfusion. There are all sorts of diseases and medical conditions that can result from a blood transfusion if the blood has not been properly screened. You would want that blood transfusion to be pure. You would not at all be happy with being told you had a one in 100 chance of contracting some disease because of the transfusion. Purity is the only real solution.

In a very real sense, Christ is our “blood donor.” Through his blood we are changed. For example:

·         His blood cleanses us from all sin (1st John 1:7).

·         By his blood we have redemption (Ephesians 1:7).

·         By his blood we have justification (Romans 5:9).

·         By his blood we have reconciliation, peace with God (Colossians 1:20).

All these things we received through Christ by his shedding blood on the Cross. But this was only possible because he was our sacrificial lamb, a sacrifice “without spot or blemish” (1st Peter 1:9). It is that purity that was necessary for our salvation.

As you partake today, remember that the elements of communion, bread and the fruit of the vine, seem to be ordinary things. But there is a difference between what a thing is, and what it is made of. Communion is made of these elements — but it is the body and blood of Christ. That blood was pure beyond the measure of man, for Christ was the sinless man. Therefore, as you partake today, examine yourself. See if you are living the life he has commanded you to live. In remembrance of him you are taking into yourself a high and holy thing. Do not do this lightly; do not do this mechanically. Rather, after introspection, do this in a worthy manner, knowing that you are taking in the body and blood of Christ — pure, for your purification.

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