Originally scheduled for November 16
In 1932 the National Geographic Society
produced a map of the travels of George Washington, in honor of his
200th birthday. Upon examination, it appears that George
was as far north as Maine and as far south as Georgia. His travels
were, of course, confined mostly to the eastern seaboard but he
didn’t get as far west as Pittsburgh, which was then known as Fort
Duquesne. The map is visually quite interesting; and it reflects
interest in George Washington which has not survived to our time.
For example, in 1958 Douglas Southall Freeman was awarded the
Pulitzer Prize for his seven volume biography of George Washington.
Interestingly enough, you can purchase this map
on the Internet today. You might think it unusual that the National
Geographic Society could even offer such a map for sale today. But I
submit that there are several reasons why this map sells:
There is, of course, some interest in
the main subject of the map: George Washington.
It’s also interesting to see how maps
looked in those days. The map itself is artistically quite
interesting, something that is missing from the typical Google map
of today. This is a work of art as well as a work of geography.
Finally, it shows us what was of
interest to the people in the 1930s; it tells us what was important
to them. We recently completed an election; I never heard
Washington’s name mentioned, whereas he would’ve been quoted in
those days quite frequently.
There are some parallels here to communion,
which serves somewhat as a map to Christianity in a very simple
The center point of communion is
Jesus Christ, just as the center point of the map is not a location
but George Washington. It turns our attention to the most important
person in history.
Like the map it’s not an outline but
more of a living artwork. It is a portrait of his death, and
artistic work — not a laundry list.
It includes what is significant and
excludes what is not: it speaks to the death, burial and
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a marvelous work of
As such, let it stir your heart and provoke you
to repentance before your Lord. Let it provoke you also to
reconciliation with all in your reach. Let it be your guide to bring
you back to full fellowship with your Lord Jesus Christ and your
fellow Christians. Examine yourself, then partake.