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Communion Meditations (2014)

The Statement

Originally scheduled for October 26

With an impressive regularity the Postal Service delivers to me a series of documents known as financial statements. We all get them: and we pay at least some slight attention to the lists of cash, stocks and bonds (and whatever else) that are listed therein. There are two things that you are supposed to pay some attention to:

·         The first is the difference between this month’s statement and last month’s statement. You have either gone up or gone down in wealth and it is wise to know which it is and how big the differences.

·         The second is the list of detailed transactions that tell you how you got from last month to this month. Each of those transactions is a decision on your part which has been made. It’s a time to look at the wisdom of each of those decisions.

It is interesting that communion starts with a period of self-examination. This is not an accident; communion is a time for taking a measure of oneself. We may do this using the same method used for the financial statement:

·         It is important to look at every aspect of our life — the good, the bad and the ugly. If your self-examination consists only of applauding your improvement in things good you can be sure that the bad and the ugly are increasing.

·         Identify the specific changes in your life. You’re going to need a list of them to work on.

·         Ask yourself what caused the change. Have you been letting your habits take more and more charge of your life? Is it the tongue that causes you so much trouble?

After you leave communion you cannot leave this comparison behind you. You must take action on what you have found. In particular, begin by repenting of those things you identified as an increasing evil in your life. Ask forgiveness of God, who grants it freely. If it is possible, ask forgiveness of those you may have offended. While doing this, do not forget that you are obligated to forgive so that you might be forgiven.

Communion may be seen as a ceremony which seals your commitment the Christian life of repentance and forgiveness.

·         In the cup we see his sacrifice as being sufficient for our atonement. Acknowledge that his sacrifice is the basis of your forgiveness.

·         The bread reminds you of your reconciliation with God. When you break bread together with someone you are stating that they are your friend.

·         As there is one body and one blood, there is one church. Remember that you are united with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Seek also to put their benefit in your plans.

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