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Communion Meditations (2023)



Originally scheduled for May 28

Mercy, by its very nature, is a gift. You cannot deserve mercy; for mercy is what you get when you don’t deserve it. Indeed, Christians memorize the phrase, “saved by grace.” The word grace in the original means “a gift.”
In the Scriptures there are two places that are translated with the word “cheerful” or “cheerfulness.” One of them is the instruction that the Lord “loves a cheerful giver” (2nd Corinthians 9:7). The other is in Romans 12:8 where we are advised that he who gives mercy is to do so with cheerfulness. The connection between the two is in the root word for each; it went from Greek to English and became our word, “hilarious.” It apparently seems that God likes the giver who laughs with joy at the act of giving, especially in giving mercy. It is a point of divine style; God is not a resident thundercloud on your shoulder scowling at all you do. Rather, he is one who enjoys giving.
We can see this in the church. God’s greatest gift to us was his Son (John 3:16). There are two occasions when we acknowledge this.
·        We celebrate the incarnation of Christ; it’s called Christmas. As the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Note the verb; celebrate.
·        And how do we say that we are having communion this Sunday? Do we not use that same verb and say, “we are celebrating Communion today”?
The great gift of God, his grace, is received with celebration.
So today, as we celebrate communion, recognize in your mind that God did not give this grace to us grudgingly, but with an giving, cheerful heart. His mercy was not poured out upon you with a sour look but with a laughing smile. Reflect upon this as you partake. It may be this week that you will have the chance to show mercy to someone. If so, will remember what your Lord is taught you about style — do so with cheerfulness; perhaps, even, hilariously.

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