My nephew is a lad of unbounded
energy and cheerfulness, who is especially fond of sharing what he knows with
enthusiasm. Lots of enthusiasm.
We were meeting the rest of the
family at a local restaurant. As I walked in my nephew, about three years
old at the time, grabbed me by the hand to show me something. He took me
over to the koi pond (koi are a kind of carp, raised for their colorful
decoration—quite a common sight on the west coast). Pointing to the koi,
he proudly proclaimed, “Look, Uncle John—skyscraper fish!” His father
explained to me that things were small, medium, large and skyscraper in his
Size is often a matter of
perception. It first begins with your own size. What was an ordinary
fish to me was huge to a boy less than three feet tall. We tend to
measure the rest of the world with our own tape measures, a habit that
sometimes deceives us. If we see ourselves as wonderful Christians, far
above the norm, it’s difficult to see the spiritual size of Jesus Christ.
Size is also a matter of
experience. If you have suffered through the long, lingering death of
someone you love, the tragedy is greater when you have the responsibility for
care. When my grandfather died, it meant little to me. My mother
took it very hard. When my mother died, I understood why. Death had
not shrunk; I had grown.
Size is also a matter of your
view of the world. A small child’s view is heavily populated with adult
knees. Knees are important; altitude is hard to gain. As you become
an adult, you develop a view of the world in spiritual terms. You may be
bitter or sugar sweet; either way, it affects the size of things spiritual.
But you can change your size, and
most of us do. In spiritual terms, you grow—often as simply as greater
knowledge of what the Lord requires of you. But the real growth comes in
charity—what will you sacrifice for others?
Your experience changes your
view, also. In particular, the experience of being forgiven is one of the
great changes—when you realize there is no way to justify yourself. If
you take the lesson to heart, you will soon become quick to forgive, too.
As you take communion this day,
measure your size against that of Jesus, the Christ. The more you walk
with Him, the greater your size. If you seek Him in knowledge, and find
him in charity, you will grow. If you will accept his forgiveness, using
it as a model for your forgiving, you become great in Christ. All this He
desires, for He wants you to be like Him.
So when you take the cup and the
bread, remember: the one whose size you seek to be, whose knowledge
and charity are examples to you, whose forgiveness inspires your own, did not
simply tell us to do so. He asks us to remember that He has already set
the example—at the Cross. If you would be a “skyscraper Christian,” then
follow His example. There is plenty of room to grow.