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Communion 2010

Exact Image

Oringinally scheduled to be delivered February 7

On any number of occasions, for all kinds of reasons – or no reason at all – you may be asked to produce some form of identification. The usually preferred form is a driver’s license, but almost always the request will be for a photo ID. You understand why. If you want to identify someone, you usually do it by looking at their face. Sometimes the photo is blurred – and as far as you know that could be any combination of chemicals on paper. Other times the photo is sufficient for you to say, “That’s Joe.” If the photo is evocative enough, however, you might say, “Now that’s Joe.” It’s not just the likeness of looks, but the likeness of action that you look for.

Communion is just such an image of Jesus. We don’t have any portrait dating to his lifetime, but we have an image. It is an image of his humanity:

Communion is served in physical, material elements – which reminds us that He has a body just like ours.

It also reminds us that He is well acquainted with the sorrows of life – especially the betrayal by a friend.

Pain, too, is shown in this. When you get up in the morning with arthritis in every joint, remember that He went through horrible pain – uncomplaining.

Communion is also a picture of Christ’s sacrifice. He went willingly to the Cross for our sins. Communion paints us a picture of that:

As any parent knows, the word “sacrifice” often enough means pain and tears. Pain is the present tense of the verb, “to sacrifice.”

There is a future tense as well – it is the anticipation of death. We are reminded that his death was not a swift one, but one which gave room for the agony of coming death.

Most of all, it is a sacrifice of love – and God is love.

Communion is not a photograph of Christ. It’s a much better picture than that.

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