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Communion Meditations (2015)

Bad Day at the Doctor's Office

Originally scheduled for August 30

Most parents will tell you that they always love their children, no matter what they do. Every now and then an occasion arises to test that statement.

My grandson and I were at the doctor’s office. Neither of us were the patient involved; that was mother who was being examined for what could have been something quite serious. The examination took quite some time, and my grandson began to misbehave in a highly visible way. It’s a fact that grandparents don’t have to be as strict about discipline as parents do. So as long as he was just running around the office, burning off energy, I wasn’t too concerned. But things got worse and I was eventually obliged to sit him down and tell him to behave. His reply (at the top of his lungs) was to shout, “I hate you!” Every parent, and a lot of grandparents, will eventually hear this from the kids. But one of the advantages of being “grandpa” is that you’ve been through this before. Indeed, not only had the grandparents been through this before, but my parents had been through it — and told us all about it. So I had quite a bit of experience to draw on. I picked him up gently, looked him right in the eye and with as calm a voice as I could find said “but I love you, buddy.” A lady in the doctor’s office waiting room with us complimented me on the way in which I had replied. It caused me to think about that reply.

I love my grandchildren. What’s important to know here is that my love for my grandson existed whether or not he behaved. Of course, misbehaving will get you a different reaction from grandpa. But my love exists whether or not he behaves. The question is not whether or not I still love him, the question is what am I going to do about his misbehavior? Such an event does not cause me to love him, but it causes me to show it.

God is, was and always will be love. His greatest demonstration of the love he has for us was to send his son to Calvary. Note that he didn’t decide just before the day that he was going to love us now; his love is eternal. But he had planned from the beginning that Calvary would be the way in which he would provide the greatest demonstration of his love for his children, mankind. It was not a question of whether or not he loves us, but how best to demonstrate it to bring his children back home. In Communion, we are reminded of that great demonstration of love. In a very real sense, as you take part in Communion this morning, you are holding the love of God in your hands. This is a high and sacred thing; do not hold it lightly. It is your Heavenly Father’s way of saying that despite your sins he still loves you. All of us have sinned; all of us need forgiveness — and God loves all of us.

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