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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Hatchways

Originally scheduled for April 28

It is seldom mentioned — because it is so obvious — but communion is one of the most simple things in Christianity.

·         The elements — bread and wine — are almost universally available. They are common materials which are in stock year around.

·         The ceremony itself is quite simple. There are no specific instructions in the New Testament as to how it is to be done; just that we are to partake and remember.

·         The most complicated part of the ceremony is the memory it produces. Because the ceremony is so simple, the memories evoked are different for each of us. In that way it is personalized to each of us, yet common to all of us.

This may seem to be rather obvious. But have you ever considered what Christianity would be like if Christ had decided on some grand and elaborate scheme to provoke our memories? Suppose every church had to have a cross that was a hundred feet high, plated with gold. There would be financial campaigns to raise the money, ceremonies around the first steps of construction, newsletters detailing our progress and finally an announcement that the work was finished. There is the problem; once the work is finished, that 100 foot tall goldplated cross becomes just another object in our environment. If someone asks us about it, we can explain it. Otherwise, it’s just one more thing. There’s a reason why this is so. If you see something, but it has no action associated with it, your memories are not evoked.

Why did Christ do it this way? Perhaps it was the constant, repeated reminder of this simple ceremony is designed to once again fill us with the Holy Spirit. He does not wish to fill us with the Holy Spirit just once, but rather to continually fill us with the Holy Spirit.

Why? Look at it this way: if you have a ship with two hatchways, you can fill the ship with one hatchway and unload cargo through the other. Christ wants us not only filled with the Spirit but to share the Spirit with others. If our ship of life is full and has no way to unload, there is no sharing. How does he want us to share?

·         He wants us to share in love. He wants us to reach out to our fellow man and show them just what a Christian is made of — the love of Christ.

·         He wants us to share in suffering. There is no bond between us and our fellows quite like sharing in suffering. When you know how someone feels because you had the same suffering it makes a very strong bond.

·         He wants us to share in evangelism. We are to let the world know who Jesus is and why he invites the entire world to come to him.

As your emotions are stirred this morning by the memory of the suffering of Christ, know that he is filling you for the purpose of you filling others. When you leave this place, carry the memories and the feelings with you. Share them with your fellow Christians; share them with the world.

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