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Communion Meditations (2019)



Originally scheduled for February 17

Many years ago there existed an institution in Los Angeles which was a favorite of elementary school teachers — the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles. One of the features that attracted the teacher so much was that this museum solicited scrap material from various manufacturers in the area. One prominent example was a series of colored discs, stamped out of plastic. They were the discard plastic from the process of making a hole in the sheet of plastic. The museum gave these to the teachers free.

Elementary school teachers must be very creative people. What you and I might see as just a disc of plastic they saw as an element of an art project, a mathematics lesson, or a science experiment. It is the nature of creative thinking that it is Trinitarian. The teacher must first have a very good idea in her head as to what she wants to do. If the idea is no good, nothing good will come of it. Then, the material she selects must provide a good incarnation of that great idea. Finally, she must consider her audience. What is appropriate for kindergarten students would not work for sixth grade students. Creative art follows the pattern of a father idea, and incarnation, and the work of getting the father idea across to those who receive it. It parallels the Great Creator: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father has given us his great creative idea. The father idea that he has put forth is that he so loves this world, including the sinners, that he is willing to make the greatest sacrifice to redeem those sinners and bring them home. To put this in physical reality, he spent thousands of years drilling into the heads of one particular people just what kind of God he is — and then sent his son to die on the cross. No greater love has any man than he give up his life for his friends. Knowing that the work would not be complete unless we accepted it, we have the function of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and judgment. It is God’s masterpiece.

Communion, in its own way, follows that pattern too. There is a father idea: that you and I will remember the sacrifice on the cross and the great love of God that it shows. To do this the idea is incarnate in the ceremony of communion. The cup reminds us of his blood; the bread of his body. It is extremely simple and crosses all cultures. But like his other great communications, there is the part that we must play as well. When we do this we are to examine ourselves. If we find something amiss, we are to repent. Communion is not complete without our self-examination and repentance.

That means that you and I are part of the picture God draws at communion. He has given you his son; he asks that you give him that self-examination and repentance.

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