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Communion Meditations (2013)

Tax Season

Originally scheduled for February 10

There are a variety of seasons during the year, but none carries with it such dread as the phrase “tax season.” Merely mentioning that phrase can produce groans of anguish among grown men. One reason for this comes from the fact that tax returns place quite a burden on the memory.

·         One such pardon comes from a variety of tax forms themselves. There are, quite literally, hundreds of different forms that can be filled out which are appropriate for your taxes. It is your responsibility to remember which forms you need, fill them out, and turn them in. Presuming that you know which form you need, can you always remember the number that goes with it?

·         Once you have the right form, of course, you have to fill it out. Income tax forms are not noted for their simplicity and ease of use. In fact, the phrase “complex tax form” is redundant. It is not by accident that most of us use a computer to aid in the process.

That’s enough to really test your memory. It’s also enough to make you impressed with the CPA who fills out your tax forms for you. It gives rise to such parodies as the form 1040EZ - which had two lines. First, write down how much money you made. Second, send it in.

Humor aside, there are reasons why it is hard to remember which form and how to use it. For example:

·         You only do this once a year. It’s not something particularly pleasant, nor is it particularly interesting. So you wind up learning each year what you forgot from last year.

·         In particular, the details on each form can be confusing – and change every tax year. If you wanted to design a system that would cause memory lapses, our tax system would be a good example.

·         There is also an emotional reason. You want to avoid doing your taxes, because your taxes cost you money.

Communion carries with it the opposite characteristics. It was designed to be easy to remember, for it is the memorial of our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross.

·         Communion is taken much more frequently than once a year in most churches. The apostles and the early church took communion at least once a week, and there is evidence that they did so even more frequently. Frequent repetition aids the memory.

·         The details of communion are simple. The bread represents his broken body; the cup represents his shed blood. By taking these elements, you are remembering what he did for you on the cross.

·         It is something that you should want to do. Some of us are of the school which says, “let sleeping worms lie,” but those with any wisdom know that it is necessary to get your sins forgiven. Therefore you examine yourself. And upon that examination, you take communion, remembering the forgiveness of your sins.

 

Communion: it is simple, easy to remember — and profound. As you partake, given the serious attention it deserves.

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