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Communion Meditations (2016)


Originally scheduled for November 13

It very much depends upon the denomination, of course. But it has become common to include a communion ceremony between the bride and the groom at a Christian wedding. Normally, only the bride and groom receive this communion. But it is so special that we even have wedding furniture designed specifically for the purpose of having the wedding couple kneel and take their first communion together as husband and wife.

Weddings are full of symbolism. It is fruitful to examine, therefore, what communion means in the context of a Christian wedding.

A truly Christian wedding centers on Jesus Christ. We can see within his attributes why communion fit so appropriately within the wedding.

·         Lordship. It is important to see that authority in the marriage is hierarchical. We have regrettably strayed from the tradition where a bride promises to “love, honor and obey”, but this is the intention God had from the beginning. Taking communion recognizes the fact that the husband’s authority over his wife comes from Christ — and is therefore not absolute but subject to the commands of his Lord. It is for this reason that Peter tells the bride not to give way to fear (1st Peter 3:5-6). If the husband exercises his authority in accordance with the commands of Christ, her obedience is no great burden.

·         Love. The greatest example of love ever given was Christ’s sacrifice on the cross — which is what we remember at communion. This sets the example of love, particularly for the husband who is told to love his wife as Christ loved the church. As a particularly pragmatic point, one of the essential ingredients in love is forgiveness. It will not take long before the married couple need to practice this.

·         Life Eternal. We celebrate communion until the Lord returns. It should remind us that those with whom we celebrate our fellow heirs of the grace of life (1st Peter 3:7). It is grand to know that your husband or wife is destined to live forever. This might even increase the respect that one has for the other.

There are some lessons for the rest of us in this also. We too must consider the Lordship of Christ. Many of us are happy to acknowledge Christ as our Savior, but gently skip over the part about “Lord.” Often enough this comes from our lack of courage. But Christ is your Lord, you should fear God — and dread naught.

Christ exhibited love — none greater — on the cross. This is our example; do we act like it? Similarly, we might ask if we live in the power of the resurrection, treating our brothers and sisters as those who are going to live forever, not just a temporary nuisance. There is a reason we are taught to examine ourselves at communion. Reflect upon these things; change what must be changed and draw closer to Christ.

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