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Communion Meditations (2012)

Mega-Church

Originally scheduled for November 11

One of the recent developments in church history is what is called a mega-church. One of these churches recently opened its new building; for those who grew up in a country church, it’s quite a change.

The first thing to strike you is a fantastic quality of the audio and video productions. Most preachers don’t get to have a high definition, 40’ x 60’ screen behind them for their audiovisual aides. The impact of the site and the sound reminded one most of all of a rock concert. The preacher was his usual self — humble to a fault, humorous as always with a heartfelt message. As befits a church this size his presentation was detail perfect. In fact, the entire thing is not described as a “worship service” but is officially known as a “weekend experience.”

Of course the church I grew up in had something similar — in a way. Well, we had a piano (an organ with just a little too expensive) and there were hymn books in the pew racks. People knew how to sing, even in four-part harmony. The preacher’s messages were simple, but it must be noted that his collection of jokes was rather small and often repeated. It was a simple church; simple, but sound.

It’s hard to think of two churches that are more different, but one thing they had in common — right down to the last detail. That one thing was Communion. Both churches use the same simple plastic cups, filled with the same stuff. The little wafer of bread was identical. The trays were identical.

Both churches offered the fruit of the vine as a memorial to the blood of Christ. Just as Christ commanded, both churches remembered his blood shed on the cross. Both churches offered the bread as a memorial to the body of Christ. Both churches did so in imitation of what the Lord instituted at the Last Supper.

These two churches are so different; how is it that this part of their worship is the same?

·         Both of these churches serve the same Lord — one Lord, one faith, one birth.

·         Both of these churches honor the same sacrifice by that Lord — his death on the cross as atonement for our sins.

·         Both of these churches celebrate the same victory. On Easter Sunday that one Lord they both serve walked out of the tomb, alive.

He lives; we serve a risen Savior – the same Lord, the same remembrance.

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