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Communion 2010

Fractals

Originally scheduled for December 12

The local newspapers recently announced the death of one Benoit Mandelbrodt, a mathematician of great renown. He is the discoverer of the mathematical concept of fractals. Defining fractals is well beyond the capability of those who have high school mathematics, but one particular example might show you the concept.

Let's suppose you go outside after a brief rain. You look down into the puddles and you see that there is a trail of mud which splits into tiny little streams. Interestingly enough, this picture is almost in distinguishable from a picture of the Mississippi Delta taken from an aircraft overhead. Even though the Delta is much larger, the pattern is the same. Moreover, if you look into the Delta you will see that this pattern is repeated in smaller and smaller sizes, even down to the size of that puddle. This idea of a repeating pattern has been put to great use in the last 40 years.

It is a characteristic of the universe that such patterns repeat. God, in his infinite wisdom, ordained it so. There is an interesting parallel in communion. The large, or Delta size, pattern is the crucifixion. The puddle size pattern is our partaking of communion. The pattern is the same. The cup represents the blood of Christ; the bread is the parallel of the body of Christ. We are a small representation, therefore, and we should see ourselves as such.

So I ask you today to examine yourself. Are you indeed the small representation of Christ? Do you resemble his pattern? You proclaim that you do when you take communion; it is good that you should know whether or not this is true. 

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