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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Wedding

Originally scheduled for May 13

One of the most pleasant times that the church experiences occurs when two of its members are married at the church. It is a time of joy as well as a time of transition. As a part of the ceremony, many churches include serving communion to the wedded couple. Some churches even serve communion to the entire congregation during the ceremony. As one of the very few rituals in the church, communion is well-suited to be used in the marriage ceremony.

Communion reminds us of our past. As communion came from Passover, both of them are a sign of God’s protection. Passover reminded the ancient Jew of his rescue from Egypt; communion reminds you of your protection from sin in the forgiveness given at the cross. More than that, communion is in a unique way a sign of God’s righteousness. It reminds us of the atonement sacrifice. If there is no sin, there need be no atonement. If there is no righteousness, there is no sin. Therefore Communion tells us that God is righteous and takes action to see that righteousness prevails. But most of all communion is evidence of God’s love for us. Righteousness says that atonement must happen; love says that God provides the sacrifice.

Communion also works in the present. The husband promises to love his bride as Christ loved his church. That is a tremendous promise; Christ loved his church to the point of death. We see also in this the picture of the church is the bride of Christ, always described as radiant and beautiful. The roles of husband and wife are different but inextricably entwined. Communion reminds us of this union; the union of marriage between a man and woman is to be as strong as the union of Christ and his church.

Communion tells us of our future. We are reminded by the picture of the cross that in this world we will have trouble. The question is not “if” but “what kind?” By partaking of communion you remind yourself of the suffering that Christ had, and remember that as his imitators we shall likewise suffer in some ways. But communion is a reminder also of the unity of our church; those gathered at the wedding ceremony are mostly members of the local church. By their attendance, cheerful faces, and shared communion they are pleased to support this new family in the church.

As always, to partake of communion is to tell the world that you do so until Christ returns. By partaking of communion you proclaim to one and all that you believe in the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ. So at the very least, communion sets before the newly wedded couple the truth that the troubles of this life ultimately will be wiped away, with every tear dried. Such a thought is great joy. As you partake this morning, do so in great joy, anticipating your Lord’s soon return.

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