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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Miracles

Originally scheduled for February 24

Those who teach the Bible often hear the complaint: “if I could only see just one miracle, my faith would be so strong…” Have you ever felt that way? The evidence of the Scripture is quite to the contrary. Think about the ancient Israelites, with Moses. They were witnesses to a string of miracles unmatched anywhere else in the Scripture. And what was their reaction? They complained about the food. Who wants manna from heaven when you can grouse about the pizza?

The truth is quite different. As Aristotle said, men need not so much to be taught as reminded. That’s one of the functions of communion: to remind you of what God has done for you. Let’s take a look at one of the great men of the Old Testament, facing the same situation. Here’s what the Lord did with Elijah:

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

(1 Kings 19:11-12 KJV)

 

Elijah, you will recall, was in desperate circumstances. The Queen had promised to take his head off of his shoulders and he was running away as fast as possible. He feels miserable, despite the fact that God has miraculously fed him. He makes his complaint before God, and this is the answer he gets. There is a great display of the Lord’s power — when have you ever seen a rock being split by the wind — but God has chosen not to speak that way. Instead, in the exquisite phrasing of the King James Version here, he speaks in the “still small voice.” Elijah is being reminded of just who God really is.

Communion serves as such a reminder for us. It recalls to our minds the supreme miracles outlined in the New Testament.

·         First, we see the miracle of the incarnation. That God Almighty should take upon himself the form of a human being — and a poor kid at that — is both miraculous and surprising. Yet, that is what God did.

·         Next, we see the miracle of the atonement. The Christ would come as a human being is one thing; that he would sacrifice himself for the love he has for us is entirely another. We have seen the greatest example of love, and it was given to us by God.

·         Finally, we see the miracle of the resurrection. Others had been raised from the grave before; this time, the man rising from the grave predicted it beforehand. We see in person the master of hell and death — who promises us eternal life.

These are the great miracles you should remember during communion. As you take communion this morning do not look for the earthquake, the wind or the fire. Listen instead for the still small voice by which God reminds you. Here him as he speaks to your conscience, and bring before him that which needs repentance. Accept his atonement and remember his sacrifice of love for you.

 

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