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Communion 2010

The Hope Diamond

Originally scheduled for July 11

Visitors to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. almost always make a stop in its collection of minerals and gems. One of the featured attractions is a blue diamond, one of the largest in the world, known as the Hope Diamond. Prosaically, the stone was not named for any hope it might provide, but for the name of a diamond dealer. The public is fascinated by this stone. One reason for this is the mass of legend which has grown up around the stone, including a supposed Hindu curse upon it. The truth is far more dull. Its history is really rather uninteresting, but the legend draws the crowd.

And what does the crowd see? A diamond, to be sure – and that’s about it. The Hope Diamond is a show; nothing more. Seeing it does not curse you, nor does it bless you. It simply satisfies your curiosity. There is really no “hope” in it; it is only “hype.”

Not so with the hope of the Christian. The Scriptures make it clear that the hope of the Christian is in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the Ascension the angels told us he would return in a similar fashion. This event is associated with the general resurrection from the dead for the church. You and I are destined to be raised from the grave; our hope is eternal life through Jesus Christ. This is not legend, but prophecy. The One who prophesied his own resurrection has prophesied yours. He delivered on the first; He will deliver yours too.

You might then ask what we are supposed to do in the meanwhile. The Scripture gives us at least three things:

·        We are to be ready to give a reason for our hope - a defense of the faith we have. It’s neither secret nor private, but something to share.

·        If you have that hope, you are to purify yourself. You do this at Communion when you examine yourself and repent of your sins.

·        Finally, you are commanded to be joyful in your hope. Those who are to be raised from the dead have reason to rejoice in this life.

We are taught that we are to proclaim his death “until he comes.” Communion is a statement that by his death and resurrection we know we too shall be raised from the dead. Examine yourself, repent – then join in this Communion which gives the church such overwhelming joy.

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