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Communion Meditations (2018)


Treasure Map

Originally scheduled for February 25

(Note to the reader: your author has for many years worn an eye patch over his right eye. Every five-year-old in America knows that makes me a pirate. Pardon me if the motif seems strange to you, but I live with it every day. Let’s see what kind of story we might be able to tell)

Stories need a beginning. Let’s suppose your great uncle has died, and you, being his only living relative, have the task of cleaning out his little house. Up in the attic you find a chest. Not just any chest, a pirate chest — with the treasure map inside. There’s also a small bag of gold and the notation that there’s lots more at the point where X marks the spot. Your action plan is very simple: use the treasure that is in that chest to obtain the rest of the treasure as marked on the map. You use what you have to get what you can. Naturally, you’re going to be paying a great deal of attention to that map.

Communion is very much like that map. Stories need a middle as well as a beginning, and communion introduces you to some very central things.

·         It introduces you to the central act of Christianity: the atonement. The death of Christ upon the cross is the price paid for your salvation. There is no greater demonstration of God’s love for mankind.

·         It introduces you to the central person of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth. The story of the church is the story of Christ; it is his teaching we follow.

·         It introduces you to the central community of Christianity, the church. Communion is taken only within the church; it is almost the definition of a Christian that he is one who takes communion.

Stories need an end too. The maps starts your story, but the story ends with you obtaining the treasure. If you write your book well enough, there’s a lot of action in that. Communion points us to the end of the Christian story as well. Indeed, we could say there are two endings.

·         The first is the story of Christ that ends at the resurrection of our Lord. When he leaves the tomb he shows us his mastery over death. He is the greatest conqueror who ever walked the earth.

·         More than that, the story of Christ will end again at his return, to judge the living and the dead.

We are taught to examine ourselves at communion. Is there anything in your life that is not in the power of the resurrection? Is there anything in your life that you don’t want to tell him when he returns to judge the living and the dead? Think on these things, then partake.

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