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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

Sodom

Originally scheduled for June 2

Sodom was not a very nice city. Indeed, the scriptures describe it as “wicked exceedingly.” To give you an idea of just how bad the place was, the residents thought that the right way to greet the two visitors to Lot was to have them dragged out so they could be homosexually raped. So God decided to destroy the place. Which brings up an interesting question: if all of us are sinners, why did Abraham argue with God that it would be unjust to destroy the wicked and the righteous together?

The righteous are not perfect, nor are they sinless. They do believe in trying to do what God wants, and they try to fix their mistakes when they can. The wicked, by contrast, are not trying to do what God wants and are often very proud of the fact that they don’t. Abraham in fact argues that the character of God, being a just God, should prevent him from slaying the righteous along with the wicked. In essence, God agrees.

This goes a long way to explaining why God doesn’t take the simple solution of slaying the wicked to solve the problems of this world. He does slay the wicked from time to time. However, as we are taught in the parable of the wheat and the tares, in general it causes more harm than good to slay the individual wicked. Eventually we will arrive at Judgment Day. On that day God will face the divine dilemma: how can you send the wicked to hell and pardon the sinners who are known as righteous?

God will spare the righteous on judgment day because he has provided a path for them to become sinless in his eyes. In the Old Testament, sin had to be remedied with atonement — which included a sacrifice to “pay for” the sins of the people. Unfortunately, getting rid of your sins by sacrificing sheep and goats doesn’t really work very well. It points the way to the real thing in the New Testament — the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. By his atonement the justice of God is satisfied, and the mercy of God triumphs.

Communion is a memorial of that atonement. The bread represents the body of Christ; the cup, his blood. By taking communion you proclaim that you have accepted the sacrifice of Christ as atonement for your sins. It would be pure hypocrisy to take this with no intention of acting like the righteous. When the Judgment Day arrives, Christ will separate the sheep and the goats. The sheep — the righteous – will be saved that day not just because they took communion, but also because they showed that they followed Christ’s voice. They will be the ones who took communion as genuine followers of Christ. Therefore, examine yourself and see if there is anything in need of repentance. Then partake, with an honest heart.

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