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Communion Meditations (2019)


Bugle Calls

Originally scheduled for June 30

When your author was but a young lad, he had the wonderful privilege of living on a small army post that was the last one run with live bugle calls from a live bugler. This may seem impossible to you, but the post was small and it worked. Soldiers knew reveille, mess call, mail call, retreat and taps. The children did too; my mother made it very clear that you were home by retreat and woe betide if you played until after taps. The method sounds unusual today because we have loudspeakers and smart phones — but it did work.

It worked for the ancient Israelites as well. You will remember that the signal to go in and take Jericho was a loud trumpet blast. Gideon also summoned his men with the trumpet. Various kings of Israel announced their arrival as king with a trumpet. Interestingly, the Day of Atonement was also announced with a trumpet blast. A bugle call or a trumpet blast is a signal — a signal to take action.

Communion is like that; it is a signal to action for us. What kind of action?

·         It is a call to examine ourselves. We are to pass judgment upon ourselves and see if there is anything which needs to be remedied. It is the bugle call for our own personal day of atonement.

·         It is a call to repent. It does no good if you decide that you have sinned woefully but you’re going to do nothing about it. It is a reminder that Christ died for your sins, and therefore you need to repent, both in words and in action.

·         To the extent you can, it is a call for you to make amends. If you have given offense to someone, or worse, you can at least make apologies and fix what damage you can.

Remember, communion commemorates the atonement sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. That is both your forgiveness and your call to action.

The Lord, however, is not through with the bugle. The next great trumpet call will be at the return of Christ.

·         The angels will gather together all of the elect from the earth, living and dead, to present them to their Lord and Savior.

·         He himself will return in bodily form, just as he left.

·         When he returns, he will judge the living and the dead for what they have done.

Communion prepares you for his return. If you examine yourself, repent and make amends your judgment will preclude his judging you. Therefore, do not treat this as a stale ritual, but rather the bugle call of self-examination, repentance and amendment.

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