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Communion Meditations (2014)


Originally scheduled for November 16

In 1932 the National Geographic Society produced a map of the travels of George Washington, in honor of his 200th birthday. Upon examination, it appears that George was as far north as Maine and as far south as Georgia. His travels were, of course, confined mostly to the eastern seaboard but he didn’t get as far west as Pittsburgh, which was then known as Fort Duquesne. The map is visually quite interesting; and it reflects interest in George Washington which has not survived to our time. For example, in 1958 Douglas Southall Freeman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his seven volume biography of George Washington.

Interestingly enough, you can purchase this map on the Internet today. You might think it unusual that the National Geographic Society could even offer such a map for sale today. But I submit that there are several reasons why this map sells:

·         There is, of course, some interest in the main subject of the map: George Washington.

·         It’s also interesting to see how maps looked in those days. The map itself is artistically quite interesting, something that is missing from the typical Google map of today. This is a work of art as well as a work of geography.

·         Finally, it shows us what was of interest to the people in the 1930s; it tells us what was important to them. We recently completed an election; I never heard Washington’s name mentioned, whereas he would’ve been quoted in those days quite frequently.

There are some parallels here to communion, which serves somewhat as a map to Christianity in a very simple sense.

·         The center point of communion is Jesus Christ, just as the center point of the map is not a location but George Washington. It turns our attention to the most important person in history.

·         Like the map it’s not an outline but more of a living artwork. It is a portrait of his death, and artistic work — not a laundry list.

·         It includes what is significant and excludes what is not: it speaks to the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a marvelous work of simplicity.

As such, let it stir your heart and provoke you to repentance before your Lord. Let it provoke you also to reconciliation with all in your reach. Let it be your guide to bring you back to full fellowship with your Lord Jesus Christ and your fellow Christians. Examine yourself, then partake.

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