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Communion Meditations (2019)


The Gift

Originally scheduled for February 10

Valentine’s Day, which occurs this week, brings to the typical husband the problem of what kind of gift he should get for his wife. With due humility, we offer the following advice:

·         A Valentine’s Day gift should be a gift of extravagance, not something that’s a “must have” item. There should be nothing mandatory about it. For example, it is generally not a good idea to get your wife a brand-new vacuum cleaner.

·         It must be something which is suitable between lovers. There is no such thing as the perfect gift between all lovers; you and she are unique. Your gift should be based on her heart’s desire.

·         The gift must also be something which is secure in your knowledge of each other. If she doesn’t own a pair of thong panties now, don’t get her a box of them.

You can see these principles at work in a gift from the Old Testament. David is about to go the way of all flesh and he gives his personal fortune for the construction of Solomon’s Temple. Here’s what he gives:

With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God--gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble--all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings,

(1 Chronicles 29:2-4)


it’s not immediately obvious just how much this is, as we are not usually familiar with the measurement system that David used. But let’s deal with the obvious first: a “talent” at this time is about 75 pounds. That means that David is giving to the God he loves over 100 tons of gold. At the prices current at this writing, that’s about 3 ½ billion dollars worth of gold. That is a gift of extravagance. Gold, of course, is suitable as a love gift. It has the quality of being precious; for all practical purposes in this world it is eternal; and it is lovely to look at. David is secure in the the knowledge that God wants this, as God has given him the plans of the Temple.

God’s gift to those who love him is the ultimate love gift. It is extravagant; for Christ is human, and no greater gift can one human give to others than to lay down his life. It is a suitable gift between those who love each other as it is the ultimate expression of human love. And there is no greater knowledge between lovers than the One who knows your sins — even the sins you keep carefully secret from the rest of the world.

Let us suppose you give your wife a gift of jewelry. Every time she wears it she is reminded of the lover who gave it to her. Communion serves the same purpose for the Christian. Every time we partake of it, we are reminded of the love Christ has given to us. In the cup we see his blood; in the bread, his body. We can picture the sacrifice and therefore we can understand the greatest love ever shown to mankind.

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