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Communion Meditations (2014)

Rich Man

Originally scheduled for September 21

I once knew a rich man. He was not rich because he inherited a lot of money; he pursued the money all his life and eventually became rich. He was very proud of this; and because of his pride he had certain ways of letting you know that he was a rich man.

·         One was by his actions. He enjoyed playing the patriarch of the clan, and as part of this he would always reach for the check at dinner. It was his way of reminding you that such an expense was trivial to him.

·         Another was by his possessions. He was very pleased to have a Cadillac. In his particular case this was his only ostentatious possession. Other rich men seem to be affected by such things as the bling around the neck, the trophy wife on the arm or the second house in Palm Springs.

That is the way of a rich man — who wants more. Compare that, if you please, with the rich man who literally has it all: Jesus Christ. He is the creator and sustainer of the universe; everything in it is his by right of creation. Yet when you read of this in the Bible, it seems so matter of fact. He is the creator and sustainer; no further comment seems to be necessary.

Indeed, when Paul talks about the “unfathomable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8) he is talking about the love and mercy of God. It is as if planets, stars and galaxies were trivial. After all, planets don’t last forever; human beings are designed to be eternal. As Oswald Chambers once said, “When we choose deliberately to obey Him, then He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us with all His almighty power.” And yet, this is not considered as remarkable as his love for you and for me. He places his focus on his love, and the sacrifice which he made in response to that love and our situation.

Despite all the power and glory of being the author and sustainer of the universe, Jesus became a man like one of us. Not particularly a rich man, or a highly born one — in fact, he was the son of a peasant girl. He knows what it is to live in poverty. Perhaps that is why he invites you to remember his sacrifice with one of the simplest meals possible. The bread, representing his body, and the cup, representing his blood, are given to us so that we might remember what he did on the Cross. In remembering his sacrifice we contemplate his love. In contemplating his love for us, we grow closer to him.

He has made the greatest sacrifice possible, for us. He did this out of his love. And now he asks that you remember him in this ceremonial meal — so that he might continue to pour out his love upon you as you grow closer to him. As you meditate upon this bread and cup remember what a sinner you are — and what a Savior he is.

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