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Communion Meditations (2022)



Originally scheduled for February 13

North Korean General    It is clear when you can see it in a picture. This North Korean general has an impressive load of medals — so much so that he has several of them on his pants. It is the way of the world to carry around the trophies of your success, putting them on display for all to see. It is our way of boasting without words. It helps that they are shiny and attract attention. The fact that there are so many also catches our eyes . In fact, the military refers to this kind of an outfit as being “full dress” suitable for the most formal occasions.

It’s easy to see in a uniform like this. But many of us do the same thing in civilian life. You may be wearing a Rolex watch; perhaps you drove a Mercedes-Benz to church this morning. Sometimes our way of bragging is a bigger house, a larger fishing boat or any number of other trophies. We feel good when other people see our success and acknowledge it. But our general here expresses a problem with that; how do you pick which successes to display? The world’s way is, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

So what does a Christian display? We are, after all, people of notable status — though not perhaps of our own making.

·         We are the ambassadors of reconciliation, commissioned by God Almighty to bring his love and grace to the world.

·         We are also a royal priesthood, commissioned by God to approach his throne boldly with prayers and requests on behalf of others as well as ourselves.

·         Perhaps most important of all, we are children of God.

But as Paul tells us,

For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

(2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NASB)


I hope you see the point. Because Christians are such an exalted people, we need to make it clear to the world that this is not our own doing, but the power of God. We don’t want to let our egos get in the way of other people seeing the light of Christ. Even a little humility can go a long way in this.

Perhaps the best example is given to us by Christ himself. Think of all the great miracles he performed; walking on water, feeding the 5000, turning water to wine. Of all the things he did, there was only one that he chose for us to ceremonially remember. It’s essential to note that when we take communion we are proclaiming his death. The resurrection shows the power of the Holy Spirit; the crucifixion shows the depth of Christ’s love. Of all his actions this is the only one that he asked us to to remember formally, in a group setting. We celebrate this achievement because it is his greatest one.

More than that; he wants us to share not only in the ceremonial meal but in the suffering that produced it. He tells us that if you are a real Christian you will undergo suffering for his sake. Most of us are not brilliant speakers or bold leaders — but all of us have the ability to suffer for the cause of Christ. In this meal he reminds you of that. He has chosen the ordinary of this world to show the rich and powerful that the overwhelming power, grace and love of God is offered through the humblest of us.

We are all his “earthen vessels” — we may not look like much, but we show the power and grace of God in our daily lives. As you partake today, remember the sacrifice and suffering he endured so that you might become the children of God.

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