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Communion Meditations (2006)

In Simplicity, Sublime

Originally delivered November 26

C. S. Lewis called it “the most terrifying passage in the New Testament.”  John Chrysostom called it “that most sweet section of Scripture.”  It is the account of the separation of the sheep and the goats, found in Matthew 25:31-46.

From this passage we may observe what kinds of things God expects us to use to be of service to Him:

· He expects us to use material things, for this is a material universe.  But see how simple these things are!  They are the basic things of life.  We are to use food—but there is no reference to great cuisine.  We are to provide water to the thirsty; apparently tap water will do.  We are to provide clothing; nothing is said about designer jeans.

· He expects us to use our time for Him as well.  Is our time to be used on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem?  He says nothing about it—but rather we are to visit the sick and those in prison.  Neither of these can command us; both are pleased to see us at our convenience.

It has pleased Almighty God to accept from His children the simplest of material things and the most convenient of service times—and consider them as gift and service to Himself.  In simplicity we find the sublime.

Indeed, our Lord uses much the same method in providing this communion for us.

· He uses material things to be our reminders of His sacrifice.  The fruit of the vine—next to water, the most common drink in the history of man—and simple flatbread, a flour and water combination. 

· He asks us to do so at set times, together, so that we might by our mutual sacrifice of time be reminded of his sacrifice for us.

It has please Almighty God to give to His children the simplest of material things and the most meaningful of times (worship) to remind them of His sacrifice on the Cross.  In simplicity we find the sublime.

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