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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Participation

Originally scheduled for November 21

Perhaps it never occurred you to wonder about this. Jesus left a fair amount of instruction to his disciples to be implemented after the resurrection and the ascension, but he made it a point to explicitly be a part of the first communion — the initial Lord’s Supper. Did you ever wonder why?

·         Much of Jesus’ life was exemplary. It is to say that he said an example for us, one which we can extend. The implementation of the Lord’s supper was so important that he did it by example for us. This tends to prevent things from becoming much too formal and complicated; it was a simple meal, done in a simple manner and therefore something that can be easily imitated.

·         Throughout most of human history our societies have been organized in a hierarchical fashion. The hierarchy in question is usually hereditary, whether that be dukes, earls, princes and kings or just the rich and socially prominent. As Chrysostom suggested concerning baptism, some of the top echelons of society might decide that they are too good to take communion. After all, communion involves self-examination and repentance — and that’s just for the sinner types. But if the Lord of the universe, the King of Kings himself participates, who among us is so high and mighty as to refuse?

·         Note, please, that Christ deliberately took the step of instituting the Lord’s Supper before the crucifixion. This makes it a form of prophecy; in his time prophecy about the crucifixion. But since then it has served as prophecy for his return, as he said he would not eat and drink this meal again until he came back. From this we remember that communion prophesies to us the return of Christ and the judgment to come.

By the fact that Jesus implemented communion himself, before the crucifixion, we see before us an example of how it should be done. We see that all of us should participate, as the church is one body. We also acknowledge that we do this until he returns to judge the living and the dead. So as you partake this morning, remember that the bread represents his body broken for you. The cup represents his blood, shed for you and the remission of your sins. Therefore, prepare your mind by self-examination so that you might take communion in a humble and worthy manner, aware of your own failings. Then perceive the body and blood of Christ before you, as you partake.

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