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Communion Meditations (2022)


Three Views

Originally scheduled for December 25

Three of the gospel writers detail the birth of Jesus. In Matthew’s view, we see a local version of this birth, written particularly for Jewish readers. Luke expands this view to make it understandable to everyone else on the planet. John takes the point even further, giving us a cosmological view.
Matthew, as stated, speaks to a Jewish audience and is particularly concerned with showing the connection of the birth of Jesus to the Old Testament. We see this in these things:
·        He gives us a detailed genealogy back to Abraham. This is to show his readers that Jesus is by birth entitled to be considered as a King of Israel, a descendent both of Abraham and of David.
·        In so doing, he also gives evidence that Jesus is fully human — not someone who just stepped out of a flying saucer.
·        He also makes it clear that Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, thus showing is that the prophecy of the virgin birth has been fulfilled.
Luke gives us a much more global view. He writes to the Gentiles, that is, the rest of us who are not Jewish. He is a thorough researcher, being a doctor by trade and writes in a thoroughly academic way. He is also the traveling companion of Paul. As such, he had the opportunity to meet the apostles in person and of course the opportunity to interview Mary. He gives us the facts in such detail, unclouded by genealogy.
John, by far the most philosophical writer of the Bible, expanded beyond planet Earth. He identifies Jesus in these ways:
·        Christ is the creator. Everything in the universe that exists is due to his work; he is the agent of creation.
·        Christ is the source of life, biological life. You and I borrowed the idea of living from him.
·        He is also “the Light.” In the philosophical sense, he is the source of all illumination.
Taken together, these three writers describe the Christ. He is fully God and therefore is sinless. He is fully man therefore an acceptable sacrifice. That was his purpose in coming: the atonement. Out of his great love for us he came to die so that we might be saved and have eternal life. This is what we remember every time we take communion. As you do so this morning, reflect on the fact that without the incarnation — Christmas — there is no death, burial or resurrection — Easter. As you take the bread and cup, remember what he did out of his great love for you. Approach him with a pure heart and a grateful attitude. The babe in the manger became the sacrifice who purchased your salvation.

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