Originally scheduled for October 2
At first glance, the Haskell Free Library and Opera House doesn’t
look particularly out of the ordinary. It is a granite and brick,
late Victorian edifice. The first floor holds the library in the
second floor the opera. What makes it unusual is that the building
sits on the dividing line between Vermont and Québec. It was built
deliberately on the dividing line in 1901 with Mrs. Haskell’s money.
Inside the building there is a black, electrical tape line showing
the boundary. The library put it there because there was a dispute
over which insurance company (Canadian or American) was responsible
for damages due to a small fire. The library is somewhat of a
tourist attraction, but the locals use it too. Inside the library,
the dividing line has no great significance, though the rest of the
town seems to have grown border patrol and mounted police patrols
over the last few years. It is a rare example of the dividing line
which is more an oddity than anything else.
speaking, dividing lines range from simple to extreme cases — look
at the one between North and South Korea. But the human tendency is
to avoid dealing with them. Dividing lines, by their very nature,
oblige us to make a decision. Decisions have consequences, and often
those consequences are not foreseen by the person at the dividing
line. So we have a tendency to put off making those decisions when
we reach a dividing line — if we can.
It will not surprise
you that Communion is such a dividing line. It’s not a geographic
line, rather, it’s a decision. Taking communion proclaims that you
have made such a decision. It is a stand up and announce moment. And
just what is it that you are announcing when you take communion?
You announce that you believe in the death of Christ. You believe
that he died on the cross, deliberately executed by the authorities
of his day. A logical consequence of this is that you also believe
in the resurrection.
Communion announces that you believe in the atonement. You believe
that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paid the price for your sins
and opened the doors of heaven for you.
Communion also announces that you believe in the imminent return of
Christ, the Second Coming, when he will return to judge the living
and the dead. That also proclaims that you believe in the bodily
resurrection, yours included.
In short, taking communion tells the world which side you’re on.
So, as you partake of the bread, the representation of Christ’s
body; and the cup, the representation of Christ’s blood; know that
you are making the decision and proclaiming it to the world: you
believe. You are one of the faithful. As you do, examine yourself to
make sure this is truly what you want to say.