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Communion Meditations (2022)



Originally scheduled for April 10

Christianity has, in its 2000 years of existence, developed two approaches to the problem of war.

  •    One of them is pacifism. Certain denominations hold that it is sinful for Christian to participate in combat. It is very definitely a minority opinion though held firmly by its advocates.

  •  The alternative is chivalry. For the typical Christian this is what we have become accustomed to.

Chivalry, in its very essence, says that war must have rules. As of this writing, the Russians are invading Ukraine. As part of this invasion the Russians have frequently bombarded targets which most Western Christians feel should be left alone. For example, there would seem to be no sense in deliberately destroying a civilian hospital. 

But for the Russians, who do not subscribe to western ideals of chivalry, there is a use in destroying a hospital:  terror.  While it outrages Americans, it doesn’t particularly terrify us.  But - we’re not in combat.  The Ukranians may see this differently.  If the Russians can convince the average Ukranian that the Russians are slavering monsters who can’t be brought to negotiate reasonably, then it may appear that Ukraine has only two options:  total destruction or slavery.  Terror is designed to break the will of your enemy, and the Russians know it.  So does Satan.

So how is the Christian to respond to this seemingly irrational terror?  Our example is found in the Cross.  Those who crucified Jesus were not just getting rid of a political oppponent – they were delivering a message to the population.  The establishment might just come after you in the same way – and with the same lack of justice.  Keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone and smile when saying, “Yes, Your Excellency.” Christ’s response was to suffer quietly, knowing that the Father’s will was being done.  Voluntary suffering is unconquerable.

He has provided uf a reminder of his exemplary sufffering in Communion.  The bread reminds us of his broken body; the cup, his shed blood.  As he bore our sins without complaint, we should imitate his willingness to suffer for righteousness.  The Cross reminds us that the result of the war with Satan is certain.  We do not know what this world will bring next;  we do know who is triumphant eternally.

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