Originally scheduled for October 30
It may come to surprise you, but a great deal of intellectual
effort is made to design the packages for the products you buy at
the store. We’re not talking about shipping containers here, but the
package that shows up on the shelves for the rack at a common
grocery store or elsewhere. Generally speaking, the design of the
packaging is meant to serve one of three purposes:
For some packages, the intent is to get you to buy the product,
perhaps for the first time. Bright colors, splashy logos and a
general “ooh shiny” gloss — things to get you to buy on impulse.
There is a more pragmatic approach as well. Some packages are
designed with the primary purpose of preventing people from
shoplifting them. If the product is small enough the package may
have to be quite large to keep it from being disguised in your
Much packaging, however, is designed simply to correctly identify
the product, so that you will know that you have found what you’re
looking for. This is particularly true for items which may have
quite similar packages on the shelves. You might be looking for a
specific part number, for example.
Communion is in that
third category. God packaged his message to us in a way that helps
us clearly identify that we have found what we are looking for. So
what have we been looking for?
Salvation is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Communion
reminds us of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross; his body, his
blood given for our salvation. Clearly identified, we see this in
the bread and the cup.
For some, communion is also an introduction to the community of the
saints — it helps to know we are among friends and fellow
Christians. Being a Christian in the modern world can get rather
lonely at times; we would like to know there are others around.
For most of us, there is also the invitation to fellowship with God.
It seems a particularly appropriate time for prayer, conversation
with the Almighty. That’s why it’s a solemn occasion, not a comedy.
So, as you partake this morning, consider these things as part
of your personal act of worship. What should you find within
Gratitude. Start with thanksgiving for what God has done for you. He
didn’t do it because you deserve it; he did it out of his great love
for us. We can at least be thankful.
Self-examination. We are commanded to examine ourselves so that we
might take steps to deal with our problems and seek his aid in doing
so. If you see something wrong or sinful, ask for his help.
Prayer. It’s a time to commune with God; a personal conversation
between you and the Lord of the universe. Take the time to be holy
and speak with your Lord.