Originally scheduled for October 26
With an impressive regularity the Postal
Service delivers to me a series of documents known as financial
statements. We all get them: and we pay at least some slight
attention to the lists of cash, stocks and bonds (and whatever else)
that are listed therein. There are two things that you are supposed
to pay some attention to:
The first is the difference between
this month’s statement and last month’s statement. You have either
gone up or gone down in wealth and it is wise to know which it is
and how big the differences.
The second is the list of detailed
transactions that tell you how you got from last month to this
month. Each of those transactions is a decision on your part which
has been made. It’s a time to look at the wisdom of each of those
It is interesting that communion starts with a
period of self-examination. This is not an accident; communion is a
time for taking a measure of oneself. We may do this using the same
method used for the financial statement:
It is important to look at every
aspect of our life — the good, the bad and the ugly. If your
self-examination consists only of applauding your improvement in
things good you can be sure that the bad and the ugly are
Identify the specific changes in your
life. You’re going to need a list of them to work on.
Ask yourself what caused the change.
Have you been letting your habits take more and more charge of your
life? Is it the tongue that causes you so much trouble?
After you leave communion you cannot leave this
comparison behind you. You must take action on what you have found.
In particular, begin by repenting of those things you identified as
an increasing evil in your life. Ask forgiveness of God, who grants
it freely. If it is possible, ask forgiveness of those you may have
offended. While doing this, do not forget that you are obligated to
forgive so that you might be forgiven.
Communion may be seen as a ceremony which seals
your commitment the Christian life of repentance and forgiveness.
In the cup we see his sacrifice as
being sufficient for our atonement. Acknowledge that his sacrifice
is the basis of your forgiveness.
The bread reminds you of your
reconciliation with God. When you break bread together with someone
you are stating that they are your friend.
As there is one body and one blood,
there is one church. Remember that you are united with your brothers
and sisters in Christ. Seek also to put their benefit in your plans.