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Communion Meditations (2020)

 

Style

Colossians 3:12-13

Originally scheduled for May 10

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Jesus has a very distinctive style of doing things. He will not change stones into bread, but he will change water into wine. It is the divine style; through natural processes water can become wine but stones cannot become bread. As the old hymn put it, “Jesus do with all things well.”

Nowhere is this more evident than in the crucifixion. Consider:

·         Jesus went through the entire suffering of the cross, patiently enduring it. He did not shortcut the process.

·         You will recall that in the middle of being crucified he gave the care of his mother, Mary, to the apostle John. “Woman, behold thy son.” There is a tender gentleness there, concern for his mother who could have been left to his stepbrothers.

·         The King of Kings and Lord of Lords went through this process speaking as little as could as was appropriate. He treated his torturers not from his position as the Lord of the universe, but rather the Son of Man. It is a stunning display of humility.

·         Throughout the entire process of trial and crucifixion, Jesus was concerned for his disciples. When they came to arrest him he insisted that the gendarmes let his disciples go — which they did. Instead of misery loves company, he had the kindness to suffer alone.

·         It is a stunning display of compassion but the Lord of the universe was incarnate as a baby, grew to a man and offered himself as our sacrifice.

In our passage of Scripture this morning, Paul recommends these to us as virtues that we should adopt.

·         Compassion — the art of “painful sympathy” or suffering with others.

·         Kindness, the handmaiden which always accompanies Love.

·         Humility — Noah Webster defines this as being freedom from pride and arrogance.

·         Gentleness — that certain mildness of temper, resembling a strong man picking up and cuddling a little baby.

·         Patience — Mr. Webster again: suffering with a calm unruffled temper. In other words, despite being tortured, the patient man is the adult in the room.

I submit to you that Christ set this example deliberately. He acted in this way as an example, a shepherd showing the flock how to behave. When you take communion, you are acknowledging this example, this style, as being the source of your salvation. It is also instructional to you. For what you see in Christ, you should imitate. You call him Lord; do you follow his example?

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