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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Vine

Originally scheduled for April 11

It may come as a surprise to most Christians to find that wine occupied a more important place in the society of the time of Christ. There are number of reasons for the change.

·         In the ancient world, wine was one of the few things that was safe to drink. There was no chlorination in the water. You will recall Paul’s advice to Timothy to take a little wine for the sake of his stomach. They didn’t know about bacteria, but they knew about dysentery.

·         Another factor is this: it was difficult to preserve food at this time — no refrigerators. But wine kept quite well. It was a way of preserving the value of your grape harvest throughout the year.

·         In Jewish society of the time, it would be associated with Passover. It was thus a part of the ritual which celebrated the rescue of the Jewish people.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Christ made use of grapes, wine and vines in his teaching. One particular instance of this is found in the Gospel of John:

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

(John 15:1-7 NASB)

 

Please note that he offered this teaching on the same night during which he instituted the Lord’s Supper. His disciples would’ve recognized this illustration, and connected it with the use of wine in Passover as well. Just as the wine in Passover was a symbolic representation of God’s mercy, so the wine in the Lord’s Supper would point their minds back to this passage.

Communion is, in a very real sense, but time to test whether or not you are abiding in the vine. It is a time for us to reflect upon the fruits of Christ in our lives. As we partake, we acknowledge the body and blood of Christ, given for us. The natural result of this is Christian fruitfulness. So let me ask you:

·         Are your prayers being answered or ignored?

·         Do you see growth in your life in such areas as meditation and study?

In communion you acknowledge his sacrifice. In so doing, you proclaim him as your Lord as well as your Savior. Are you still connected to the vine? Examine yourself, and then partake.

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