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Communion 2010

Bumblebees

Originally scheduled for March 7, 2010

One of the bits of humor which circulates in the aerospace industry concerns the common bumblebee. There is a formula which prescribes the minimum size of wing required for flight. This formula is largely based on the weight of the aircraft. It appears that the bumblebee’s wing area is not sufficient, according to the formula. In other words, the bumblebee is too heavy to fly! The bumblebee, however, is completely ignorant of aeronautics and therefore flies anyway.

It is very useful to be able to believe what you don’t understand. Indeed, as long as it’s not very important to us, we are usually quite content with our ignorance. But if it is important, we want to understand. We are at the least curious; often enough we won’t believe until we do understand.

But there are levels of understanding. For example, most of us think that an automobile is important to our lives. Some of us understand the car to the point of knowing when to get gas. There are others who understand piston rings, compression ratios and foot-pounds of torque. There might even be someone who understands the thermodynamics of the system. But just how much understanding do you need to believe that the car will get you to church?

You can believe what you don’t fully understand. Most of us have no real comprehension of how the pills in a prescription work, but we take them anyway – and that might be a life and death matter. Communion is much the same. You can understand it on different levels. The lowest level is simply obedience: Christ commanded that you take Communion; this do in remembrance of me. So that you might understand it better, we are told that the cup represents his blood, the bread his body. He drew us a picture, if you will. If you pursue your understanding you will find that great minds have given us understandings of great power, depth and complexity. Even the not-so-great mind can understand it deeply. But never fully; it is of God, and therefore ultimately beyond man.

At whatever level you understand it, you can believe it. If you are a Christian, you are commanded to partake. Obedience is the key to faith; obedience is all you need.

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