Roadside
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Communion 2011

Roadside

Originally scheduled for April 17

Should you ever be inclined to visit the town of Boron, California, it is likely that you will be traveling on state Route 58. Interestingly, this is one of very few highways which are labeled as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway." It is also a highly which contains one of the greatest number of informal, unauthorized roadside memorials.

For reasons known only to the designers of this road, at one point on the way to Boron the road, which has been running along the south side of a set of railroad tracks, crosses over to the north side. It is light, smooth jog. It comes after several miles of laser straight roadway on either side. It is likely the most deadly railroad crossing in the world. No sign announces this; but it's easy to tell from the number of roadside crosses on either side of the road. The state of California frowns upon the practice and regularly collects these and removes them. But the accidents keep happening, and the crosses keep arriving. They are usually adorned with fresh flowers in the name of someone — of someone his mother loved.

These crosses are evidence of the human instinct — we want something tangible to remember our loved ones.

·        We want to remember those we love. It is love that is the driving force of the memory.

·        We want to honor those we love; we want to say to the world this was a good person.

·        We want to grieve over their deaths, and have it be seen by the world.

Communion is a similar sort of tangible memory. It is not sufficient to the human being that memory should be in the mind alone; we need something to touch and feel.

·        We remember the one that we love, who first loved us. Love is the driving force of communion.

·        We honor him, and we honor the sacrifice he made for us.

·        We grieve over his death, for it is our sinfulness that made it necessary. He went to the cross because of us.

The roadside crosses are made of wood and flowers; communion seems to be but bread and wine. But in both instances we know: there's a difference between what a thing is made of, and what it is. In the bread and wine receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We are travelers, just passing through this world – and along the side of the road of life there is this memorial to the one who first loved us.

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