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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Repetition

Originally scheduled for September 12

It is a lesson that grandparents learn very quickly. If you going to read a favorite story book to your grandchild, you had best get every single word exactly right. If you don’t — and you can count on this — your grandchild will correct you quite sternly. Whether you pronounce the word wrong, substitute another word or just simply omit the word, you will hear about it. Your grandchild wants to hear the “right” version of the story — just as written. It’s entirely possible if you keep insisting on substituting words that you may not get asked to read the story again. To a little child, these things are important.

 

St. Paul understood the principal as well. Notice how he describes his understanding of communion:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; (1 Corinthians 11:23 NASB)

The principle is simple: getting it right means matching the original. He understood that it was important that he did not modify what Christ instituted, but rather repeat it. So we might ask, repeat what?

·        First, that the bread broken in communion represents in some way the body of Jesus Christ, broken on the cross for our sins. We are to do this in remembrance of Christ.

·        Second, that the cup taken represents his blood in some way, shed for our sins. We are to do this in remembrance of Christ.

·        As we do these things, we should consciously be aware that we are proclaiming the death of Christ for our sins — the atonement. By implication, we also proclaim his return.

So how does one get this right? May I suggest three things.

·        Proclaim what you believe. Let your participation in communion be driven by the fact that you are telling the world this is what you believe. You believe in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. By taking communion you tell the world this is what you believe.

·        Believe what you proclaim. Examine yourself and see if you in fact do really believe. Consider the implications in your life; does the sacrifice of Christ change who you are? It should.

·        Live like it during the week. As you go throughout your ordinary week, remember that you are an ambassador for Christ who this very day told the world that you believe. Show the world you mean it.

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