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Communion Meditations (2014)

Chaff

Originally scheduled for August 24

During World War II both the Nazis and the allies invented, independently, a method of battling the new science of radar. It was called chaff. It looks very much like the wrapper of an ordinary piece of gum, with aluminum foil on one side only. You wouldn’t think this would be very much of a problem for radar, but it is. The strips of foil are technically known as tuned dipoles. They are cut to a very precise length which matches the wavelength of the radar system to be confused. The result is that they show up as much larger than they really are. They flutter about; in so doing they leave tracks which look like those of an airplane. Eventually you can tell the airplane from the chaff — but it’s usually too late.

Have you ever wondered why they call it chaff? The term is actually used in the Bible. It describes a part of the wheat plant which is discarded.  To separate wheat from chaff – it’s called winnowing – you toss the grain in the air when there’s a good wind blowing.  Chaff, being very light, is blown along with the wind while the heavier grain falls back on to the threshing floor.  If you do this a sufficient number of times, the chaff gets blown off the wheat.  The real chaff is very light, blown along with the wind and has to be separated from the real wheat – that’s why the tinfoil chaff was named that way.  Real chaff is lightweight and worthless – fit only to be burned.

That’s what John the Baptist was warning people about.  Speaking of Jesus, he said:

"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

(Matthew 3:12 NASB)

 

We are warned that communion should begin with a period of self-examination; “Let a man examine himself.”  So – are you lightweight chaff or the heavier grain?

·         Chaff is blown around by the wind – every new fad picks up the chaff.  These people seek the grace of God without the Lordship of Christ.  As a result, they are constantly looking for a new way to remain comfortably idle in the church.

·         Wheat, being heavier,  takes Christ seriously.  These are the folks who bear fruit – and are willing to do so even when there’s work involved.

Those looking at you from the outside often can’t tell the difference.  That’s why we are called to examine ourselves – take the view from the inside.  If you feel like you are just floating along in church, take warning.  In communion we partake of the body and blood of Christ – something which should never be taken lightly.

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