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Communion Meditations (2023)



Originally scheduled for December 10

In the middle of the twentieth century the vineyards of Europe faced a grave problem.  The vines were gradually succumbing to a vicious infection which rotted away the roots of the vine.  No known cure existed.  Various remedies were tried, but only one method really worked.
This method was particularly galling to the pride of the French.  It seems that the American grape vine was immune to this disease.  The only solution was to import root systems from America and graft the existing vines onto these roots. As Prohibition had just begun, there were plenty of root stocks available.  there was nothing else to be done—if there was to be a continuation of the wine industry. Soon the French and others were industriously fighting the rootstock, slitting the tops and putting the old vines in. Tied with twine to make it permanent, this married the vine with the rootstock.
Our Lord was particularly fond of wine, at least as an example for his parables. This is probably due to the fact that everyone in that time knew how to grow grapes and make wine. Paul himself use of the process of grafting into a specific example, concerning the church (Romans 11:21-24). The most commonly quoted use of this process comes from our Lord himself:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
(John 15:4-6 NASB)
When you become a Christian, you join the church, the body of Christ on earth. He is the basic vine, you are the branch, and he expresses his “vine-ness” through the church. You go from a society that denies Christ into an organization that is his living hope for us. He tells us that we will bear fruit if we remain in the vine; and you will soon discover that fruitful Christians are those who are in the church to live in Christ.
Communion is an essential part of remaining in the vine. In a symbolic way, you take into your body the body and blood of Jesus Christ. How do you do this?
·        First, you make sure the graft stays clean and strong. This is done by self-examination and submitting yourself repentingly to your Lord.
·        Next, you take in the bread of Christ. It is the simplest of meals and the most basic of spiritual nourishment.
·        The cup represents his blood, shed for you so that you might be forgiven of your sins. All who have a contrite heart can approach the Lord.
·        Finally, look forward to the day when he returns to judge the living and the dead. All those who trust in him will be clothed in a new body. In the meanwhile, continue to take in the body and blood of Christ. Milk is for infants; this is the food of a grown man.

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