Return Address
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Communion Meditations (2013)

Return Address

 

Originally scheduled for August 25

One of the features of modern times is that families are now often separated by great distances. This is particularly troublesome to grandparents who dote upon their grandchildren. The only people who benefit from the separation, as far as I can tell, work for the United States Postal Service. Grandparents can send a lot of packages.

One feature which is always included on such a package is the return address. Since post offices began, they have required a return address — or at least recommended it — on everything they send. This is a humble admission on the part of the Postal Service that they sometimes are unable to deliver your package to the correct address. Sometimes things go astray. When that happens, it is convenient to get the package back and try the process all over again.

So the procedure is simple: if you can’t deliver it as addressed, send it back to the sender. Then you can start over again. This simple bit of sense is paralleled in our life experience. People make a decision about which way they want their life to go — and then find out that the destination is the wrong one. For example:

·         Sometimes you decide that you need a new spouse. Often enough, this comes from not having an appreciation for antiques. We’d rather get a new one than fix up the old one.

·         If not a new spouse, then a new house might be our desire. We might feel that living in a new neighborhood with better schools, more parks and shade trees is just what we need.

·         Often enough, we think we need new toys. That might be a new car, a new boat or — if you have money – a new airplane. We usually find that it’s not new very long.

·         Once in a while it turns out that what you really want is a new church — perhaps a place with the preacher more to your taste.

Maybe what’s really needed is a new “you.” So often we make the mistake of thinking that we can change everything else before we need to change ourselves.

Communion is a time to examine the need for the new you.

·         It is a time of self-examination. You are look at yourself, and in all honesty decide whether or not you need to change.

·         It is a time of repentance — a time to say that I need to make amends, mend fences and rebuild relationships.

·         It is a time when you can ask for help to do just those things.

Communion is a reminder that Christ has provided the means to make your repentance and self-examination effective. It is by his sacrifice that God forgives. This is the help you need to make your repentance effective.

Therefore, when you approach communion you do so in memory of Christ’s sacrifice. Sometimes the way to determine whether or not you’re on the right path is to look backwards and see where you’ve been. If the light of Christ is no longer shining on your path, you’ve taken a wrong turn. Examine yourself, repent and then remember what he has done for you.

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