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Communion Meditations (2020)


Scarlet Cord

Originally scheduled for March 22

One of the uses of communion is as a symbol or sign. In a sense, it is parallel to the scarlet cord that Rahab hung out of her window, as sign to the Israelites. You can read the entire story in the second chapter of Joshua. Let me point out some similarities, from Rahab’s point of view:

·         It required her to be in obedience. This obedience was grounded in faith. She believed that the spies would keep their word — and then took action on that belief.

·         She did not see a miracle or heavenly sign to produce this faith. Rather, like most of us dealing with communion, she trusted the words of God’s people. If you take communion, you are God’s ambassador.

·         She took the risk of being found out. We are not sure whether the ruler saw the scarlet cord, but he knew that the first place someone from out of town would stop would be Rahab’s. She should have expected this; after all, he was only “rounding up the usual suspects.”

The spies also give some meaning to communion.

·         They were required by their commitment to look for that scarlet cord — the sign of a sinner. Once they found it, they were required to take that family into safety. So too we are to take sinners into our community of saints.

·         In the course of this they committed the nation of Israel to honor the safety of Rahab and her family. They did this without consulting anyone else; they didn’t check it with the boss. They knew God’s will and made the commitment. When we take sinners into our community we are to love them the same way.

·         They also took the personal risk: “our lives for your lives.”

So I encourage you as you take Communion this morning — follow these examples.

·         Take the risk; pay the price and do not fear being known as one of His disciples. Join with God’s people in doing this, sharing the risk of persecution and the blessing of God.

·         Let Communion be a regular reminder to you to follow through in your commitment to Christ. He committed his life for your salvation; surely you can follow through on your commitments to him.

The bread reminds you of his body; the cup, his blood. It is our version of Rahab’s scarlet cord, a lifeline for sinners.

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