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Communion Meditations (2022)



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 pocket.
            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 yourself?
            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.

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