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Communion Meditations (2021)



Originally scheduled for March 7

It is Valentine’s Day. It is a time of bustle and hurry; you have a reservation at the restaurant that must be met. The flowers have arrived and are being arranged on the table. Of course, there is chocolate in sufficient abundance that your doctor probably will warn you about it. He as you are heading out the door, your eyes wander to a corner of the living room next to the fireplace. There, looking a little bit too forlorn, is your Christmas tree. You give it a moment’s thought, noticing some of the ornaments on the tree. There is one which commemorates the birth of your first son, who is now in his 40s. There are pictures in ornaments of your kids in Little League, school plays, vacation trips — even pictures of those who are no longer with us but are fondly remembered. The Christmas tree is usually a living collection of commemorations.

Commemoration. We can x-ray that word. The back portion, starting with “mem…”, obviously comes from our word, “memory.” If you give it a moment’s thought, you’ll recognize the prefix too. The prefix “co” implies something that we do together. Why together?

·         Whether the memories are happy or sad, or both, it sometimes helps to have those around who remember with you. You stir each other and remind each other of details long forgotten.

·         Just because an event is past doesn’t mean that it’s meaningless. We still celebrate the Fourth of July after more than 200 years.

·         Sometimes, just having others around allows you to let out the emotions that the memory arouses. Occasionally we need permission to let our emotions show.

Communion, of course, is the commemoration of Christ’s great sacrifice for us. He commanded that we celebrate it, and I think we can see why.

·         Most obviously, there is the meaning that the event holds. By his atonement we are saved; we have received grace. That is certainly worth remembering.

·         It also helps us stir up memories, very often memories which are unique to ourselves. We remember not only that he offers us grace, but the reasons we need it. We can repeat it in song, “love lifted even me.”

·         It also helps us reconnect with our faith. This is not somebody’s theory about what God is like; it is the example that God has set.

The commemoration determines the style. As you partake this morning, do so in a worthy manner. Examine yourself; repent where needed; make amends as required. Then, knowing that his body is in the bread, that his blood in the cup, commemorate his sacrifice for you.

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