Originally scheduled for July 18
The scene is a familiar one in western movies. The country doctor
comes in to deliver the baby. The first thing he does is order the
husband to “boil water-lots of water.” The scene goes back at least
to John Ford’s classic Western Stagecoach,
and has been used many times since. Have you ever wondered why the
doctor tells that guy to boil all that water?
John Wayne’s doctor explained it quite clearly:
keeps them occupied and out of your hair until you're done." Now you
There are two general reasons why you assign a task to someone:
One possibility is that you simply want it done.
Another possibility is that you want some particular person to do it
— like boiling water.
Teachers understand this. It makes a difference whether or not you
just want it done versus whether or not it is instructional.
Communion shows that aspect. It is hardly possible that God needs us
to bring him glory in communion. But it is highly likely that his
primary purpose in requiring communion is to benefit us, not Him. He
wants us to learn and practice something. He does not want us to do
communion as much as experience it.
So why would he require communion on a regular basis? It is for our
It keeps foremost in our minds the core of the faith: the death,
burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. You should know
what you’re talking about — and that’s what Christians should talk
It keeps you humble. You didn’t save yourself; you did not earn your
own salvation. It is the free gift of God. Communion reminds you of
It unites you with all other Christians, and thus strengthens the
church. Christianity is not a solo flight; we are in it together.
Communion makes us strong, together.
So we might ask what God wants us to do during communion. Consider
these three thoughts.
Contemplate the death of Christ. Remember his suffering on your
behalf. Appreciate the price he paid to give you the free gift of
Examine yourself for pride. In particular, look out for the thought
that you must somehow be superior to other people because, after
all, you’re a real Christian. Christ died for “whosoever will.”
If you have anything against your Christian brother or sister, plan
to remedy it as soon as possible. Make that commitment to God that
you will be at peace with all those who claim the name of Christ.
As you partake, do so in a reverent, worthy manner. Reflect on the
sacrifice of Christ; reflect on what you should be and how you
should treat others. Then partake of the body and blood of your Lord