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Communion Meditations (2014)

First Fruit

Originally scheduled for July 20

Most of the people of biblical times lived in a society tuned to the annual rhythms of agriculture.  One result of this is that people would anticipate the arrival of first fruits – the first harvest of any given crop.  We have some feeling of this as well; you author anticipates the arrival of fresh peach pie each year.  Canned peaches just aren’t the same.  Because they were most cherished, they were  considered in Old Testament times as ideal offerings for sacrifices.  You give of your best to the Lord; you give your most cherished things to the Lord – so that nothing comes between you and God.  God then commanded that most of the first fruits would be the portion of his priests – so those who serve God directly got the best of the harvest.

All this takes on more interest to us today when we consider that Christ is declared to be the first fruit of the resurrection (See First Corinthians, chapter 15).  The parallels are interesting:

·         First fruits are the most anticipated – and the return of Christ is the most anticipated event in human thought.

·         First fruits were considered the best – and at Christ’s return we are told that the creator of the universe will “make all things new.”  Nothing could be better!

·         And who will receive these first fruits of the resurrection?  None other than the kingdom of priests (see Revelation 1:6), the church – all who are written in the book of life.

All this is implicit in communion. That’s why we are commanded to celebrate communion (and “celebrate” is the right word here) “until he comes.”  His return is promised, though we are told that no one knows the day and hour.  In communion we remember the sacrifice which precedes the great harvest of the earth.  It is by his atonement that we are transformed into his church, his kingdom of priests. 

The matter is most serious.  Therefore, do not take communion in a light hearted manner.  Take it with an honest heart, grateful for the immense love poured out for us at Calvary.  Then you may look forward with joy to the harvest to come.  The dead in Christ shall rise; those of us still alive at his return will rise to meet him as well.  All this is promised to you by the first fruit of the new creation – the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

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