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Communion Meditations (2015)

Two Way Street

Originally scheduled for June 14

They have been our friends for many, many years. So it was quite a shock to us to discover that he had filed for divorce. Further investigation led to many sordid details which need not interest us here. The one thing that stands out is that both of them sought reconciliation — and found it very difficult. Each of them wanted reconciliation on their own terms. But reconciliation is a two-way street — and a toll road in both directions. By God’s blessings the process has begun; but it will be neither easy nor quick to put this marriage back together.

Most Christian thinkers frame the thought of reconciliation in terms of what man must do to be reconciled with God. We might summarize man’s attempt to reconcile with God in these three steps:

·         First, man must recognize that he is the unrighteous one, the sinner. Blaming God for your troubles when you are the sinner just doesn’t work.

·         Second, man must go through the process of repentance and cleansing. It is a matter of prayer and intention.

·         Repentance and cleansing must be shown by the good works of the Christian. Good works are the result of repentance, but not the cause.

We don’t often think about it, but there are steps in reconciliation which God must take too — and He has.

·         By his very nature, God is just and righteous. The price for our sins must be paid — and has been, at the Cross.

·         This reconciliation must be in accord with his nature, completely. God is love; therefore the reconciliation he offers must be offered in a loving spirit. We remember Jesus on the Cross saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

·         Indeed, the Prodigal Son teaches us that God is ever reaching out to the sinner.

Communion is the visible sign of the process of reconciliation between man and God. In it, we acknowledge our sinfulness — if we were sinless, we would not need communion. It is a visible symbol of our pledge of repentance. It is also the visible acknowledgment of the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. The bread is his body; the wine is his blood.

Most of all, communion is an acknowledgment that we are reconciled to our Lord. It is a statement that the things we must do and the things God must do are indeed already done. Our Lord said, “it is finished.” When we take communion, we are proclaiming that our reconciliation is an accomplished fact.

 

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