Originally scheduled for September 9
Perhaps you have noticed this common
phenomenon: people who are in love with each other develop little
rituals. They are private little affairs; at the most you might
notice something a little odd or just a bit humorous in their
Such rituals are usually known to the lovers
only. For example, one man I know is in the habit of gently patting
his wife on the back exactly eight times. Why eight? It’s because
the phrase, “I love you,” has exactly eight letters. Every time he
does this, he reminds her that he loves her.
Curiously, he does not do the same thing for
his children. The ritual is a private one; rituals are like that.
Often enough a ritual defines who is an insider and who is not. Such
rituals don’t have to be elaborate; actors, for example, sometimes
tell each other to “break a leg.” It’s an encouragement to do a good
job, but you have to be an actor to really know that. Love rituals
have the same effect. You have to be “inside” the marriage to know
the ritual; the ritual serves to reinforce who is “inside.” It says,
in a minor way, “you belong to me and I belong to you.”
It’s important to remember this: love empowers
the ritual; the ritual only reaffirms that love. If the love is not
there then the ritual is empty.
Communion, as a ritual, serves the same
purpose. It is something only the “insiders” (Christians) would
really understand, for this is a ritual between Christ and his bride
— the church. To those outside the church it is meaningless; to
those inside the church, it is the sacrament of love. It symbolizes
to us the love that our Savior has for us, demonstrated at the
Cross. There is no greater love; Communion reminds us of this.
But like any ritual of love, the love must be
real or the ritual is empty. So as you partake of Communion today
remember to acknowledge in your heart what the Lord has done for
you. Remind yourself of his great love for us; he endured the Cross
so that we might have life. Remember Jesus, the lover of your soul.