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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

On Genocide

Originally scheduled for November 17

One of the particularly nettlesome thorns in California politics has been the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915. California is the home of many expatriate Armenians and citizens of Armenian descent. The Turkish government has long denied the existence of this genocide; the rest of the world doesn’t quite see it that way. One politician put it this way:

 

“It is critical that we counteract Turkey’s genocide denial because genocide denial is the last act of a genocide. First you obliterate a people, then you seek to obliterate their memory, and finally you seek to obliterate the memory of the obliteration.”

This is just a specific case of how human beings treat sin. Think about it; see if this seems familiar:

·         First, you commit the sin — often quite cheerfully, not thinking of the consequences but convinced that if you aren’t in the right, at least you’re not in the wrong.

·         When, as is inevitable, you discover that you have sinned and you are guilty, you try as hard as you can to eliminate the memory of the sin. You just want it to go away so you won’t have to deal with it.

·         Then, when you have succeeded in suppressing the guilt of the sin, you go about forgetting that it ever happened at all. We seem to think that if we wait long enough sin will cease to be sin and turn into nothing but history.

Does any of this sound familiar? We don’t need to get into specifics at this time, but if you feel something bubbling up from the bottom of your memory, this just might be the Holy Spirit trying to tell you something. Sin is to be dealt with, not denied.

That’s why we have a period of self-examination as a part of Communion. That self-examination is not an afterthought.

·         Self-examination is designed to bring up the problem of sin at a time when you are focused on the solution to sin — the grace given to us at the Cross.

·         Because you are doing it at Communion, you are encouraged to take advantage of that grace while remembering the price paid to give it to you.

·         You are encouraged to do this regularly, every time you take communion, so that sin will not grow in the absence of forgiveness.

So, as the time given you permits, examine yourself and bring forward those sins yet unforgiven. Bring them to the Cross of Christ, remembering the price of forgiveness — his body and blood. Repent of your sins knowing that Christ forgives. You are a child of God; petition your heavenly Father for your forgiveness, and give thanks for his grace.

 

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