Originally scheduled for
2Co 13:14 The
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the
communion of the Holy Ghost, be
with you all. (King
The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James
version of the Bible. It is considered a landmark of the English
language. Sometimes it is instructive to look back to this old
edition and see how the early scholars translated various passages.
In the modern translations the verse above speaks of the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit, where the King James speaks of the communion of
the Holy Ghost. It's still a valid translation; the original meaning
of communion, from the Latin, is to "share in common." That's a
pretty good translation of the word which is now translated
So we might ask: just what we share in common? Paul gives us
three things here:
The first is grace — the unmerited favor of God Almighty. We are the
recipients of mighty blessings. It is the grace of Christ, shown at
the cross, that helps bind us together.
The love of God is next. What greater love could he show us then to
send his own son to the cross? So you see we are both blessed and
All this is done in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit — the sharing
in common of the things of the Spirit.
Communion is a symbolic representation of such sharing — it is a
shared meal. Have you ever considered how hard it is to stay mad at
someone while asking them to pass the salt? It is no accident that
communion is a meal; for it is over dinner that many disputes are
resolved. Sharing a meal, in most human cultures, calms the feelings
of anger and betrayal that we so often have. In a similar vein, it's
very difficult to go to dinner with someone when you have an
unresolved issue with them.
So I ask you: is there someone here today with whom you are not
in real fellowship? Perhaps there is someone with whom you have
anger; someone that you have not been able to forgive. Please
remember: your heavenly father forgives you as you forgive others.
So if that applies to you today, let me encourage you to forgive
your brother or sister from the heart before you take communion.
Then, as soon as you can, convey that forgiveness to that person. Be
imitators of Christ; forgive.