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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Anniversary

Originally scheduled for July 7

My wife and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It has been interesting to hear what people say to that bit of information. There are three primary reactions:

·         “Wow”

·         Most are polite enough to offer us their hearty congratulations and wish us many more.

·         There is also this: “How did you ever manage to do that?”

That last one is not so much their astonishment that we, in particular, would stay together that long. It is more along the lines of “how could anybody stayed married that long?” In our society today, divorce is often seen as the normal end of a marriage. A 50 year marriage seems to be a fluke, at best. Our answer usually is to tell them, “You have to work at it.”

One technique that has been very fruitful for us as been a weekly date night. It may be as modest as watching a favorite television show together, after the children are in bed. It may be going out to a nice restaurant — but either way, our emphasis is on strengthening our love for each other. You don’t let it just happen; you plan it. There are two things you do on date night:

·         You look back. You talk about the week that you just went through; how your partner is holding up under the stress and what might be done to help the situation.

·         You look forward. This is the time to talk about your plans for the future, whether that’s “what are we going to do this weekend” or planning your retirement.

This method, in a small way, gives you some insight into communion. Remember, the church is the bride of Christ. That implies that the church needs to be faithful to Christ while anticipating his return. You look back, remembering the past and you also focus on the future.

You remember the past by thinking about his sacrifice on the cross. For many hundreds of years before the time of Christ, God made it clear that an atonement sacrifice had to be made for sin. Christ is that sacrifice for us. It is the greatest example of love in the history of mankind.

You look forward as well. Communion will last until our Lord returns. Each time we take communion, we are proclaiming the truth that he will return to judge the living and the dead. It is a time to remember that you will either face the mercy of Christ, being one of God’s children or the judgment of Christ. It is well to remember also that those around us will face that same problem.

It is not something to be taken lightly or trivially, but in a worthy manner. Examine yourself and identify where repentance is needed. When you partake, see in the bread his body, and in the cup his blood. You are dealing with eternal things. If 50 years of marriage provokes admiration and wonder, consider the wedding ceremony of the Lamb. Those who attend will spend eternity with God. It’s that important.

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