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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Demonstration

Originally scheduled for September 29

Let us suppose that you are one of those rare individuals who is fabulously wealthy. It is not necessarily obvious that everyone else would see this. Your wealth might not be obvious — if you don’t spend it. What kind of sign would others look for to tell if you are wealthy?

·         They might look at your clothing. Most men can tell a custom-made suit from one which comes just off the rack.

·         They might also look at the car you drive. If you’re tooling around in a top-of-the-line Mercedes, it speaks of money.

·         Of course, they could always look at the cash you spend. Particularly if you are generous with your money in a visible way, it becomes pretty obvious.

By contrast, if you hoard your wealth it’s likely that the rest the world will not know that you are rich. If it doesn’t show, how could they tell? Spending tells the world that you are rich. You have to demonstrate it if they are to believe it.

Consider, then, God’s problem in communicating with us. What could we tell about God just by looking around in our surroundings?

·         It doesn’t take much in the way of observation — have you ever walked under the stars in a desert night — to discover that God is powerful. Whoever created all this must be such.

·         A little more observation will tell you that he is righteous, for we live in a moral world. We believe certain things are intrinsically right, and others are intrinsically wrong. We detect in the universe a moral order which must come from a moral author.

So we believe in his power and his righteousness — but how about his patience and mercy? Paul dealt with this question in writing to the Romans:

Now if God wants to demonstrate his wrath and reveal his power, can't he be extremely patient with the objects of his wrath that are made for destruction? Can't he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory--including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the gentiles as well?

(Romans 9:22-24 ISV)

 

Notice something: it is not contradictory for God to be righteous and powerful and also be patient with those against whom his wrath should be displayed. If he wants to do it that way, that’s his business. It’s also his business, if he wants to, to reveal his love and mercy to us. It’s his choice.

Communion reminds us that he has done just that. He has balanced what is seen by all with what he has demonstrated in his grace at the cross. He decided that you needed to know that God is powerful, God is righteous — and God is merciful. He gave us communion as that reminder of the grace he showed at the cross. He knows, as we should, that men don’t need to be taught as much as they need to be reminded.

Contemplate: the measure of his suffering is the measure of his love. You can measure his grace by the pain of the nails, the spear in the side and the agony of dying a criminal’s death slowly and in wretched torture. He gives you this day, in the form of the cup and the bread, a reminder of his blood shed and his body broken for you. He died, so that you might be forgiven. So as you partake this morning, do so in a manner fitting of one who is remembering the greatest sacrifice ever made. The Son of God died so that mankind might live forever.

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