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Communion Meditations (2021)



Originally scheduled for September 26

One of the changes in the church in the last few years has been a shift to a more upbeat, up-tempo worship style. Where in the past we had solemnity throughout the service, it now seems that only communion is a solemn event. It’s as if you’re playing an action movie on your TV, and somebody hits the pause button. Suddenly, everything stops. May I suggest that we pause — and look.

Look back

We may begin by looking backwards, into history. Among the many possible things we could look at, these three are of first importance:

·        God Almighty came into our world, as a baby, in the flesh. CS Lewis called the Incarnation “the supreme miracle.” God himself walked among us on feet like ours.

·        He did not come just to say some fine things. He came to be the Atonement for our sins. His death on the cross paid the price to reconcile us and grant us forgiveness and eternal life.

·        Finally, his resurrection from the grave assures us that he has conquered death — and that his promises of eternal life are therefore sure.

Look around

We must also look at the present. What do we see as we take communion?

·        First, we see the unity of the church. All those who claim the name of Christ are taking of the same cup and the same loaf. We are one.

·        That church is united in its loyalty to its Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The church is composed of those who are obedient to the commands of Christ, and that church proclaims its unity in communion.

·        To maintain our relationship with Christ, and thus maintain our unity, we take the time to examine ourselves, and repent.

Look forward

We should also look forward. What has our Lord told us will occur? There are many things that are prophesied, and many schemes of prophecy to interpret them. But these are the great certainties of the future:

·        The dead shall rise to face judgment. Do you think Adolf Hitler got what he deserved? Neither do I. But God isn’t finished with him yet, nor the rest of humanity.

·        The dead in Christ will rise with a body which is incorruptible — and eternal body designed for an eternity with Christ. “Joy unspeakable, the half has never yet been told.”

·        Eternal life is promised to us — not an eternal life of drudgery and pain but one in which the ultimate enemy of the human race, death, has been conquered and joy reigns.

All this will come about because of the act of love of our Savior. He came in the flesh and died as our atonement. In communion we proclaim our loyalty to him. We also proclaim our belief in his return. Even so, Lord, come soon.

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