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Communion Meditations (2015)

Whale Shark

Originally scheduled for August 2

She was about eight years old at the time. Her father announced that they were going on a tour boat to see (and swim with) some whale sharks. This struck fear in her mind. She thought of how small she was and how big sharks are. Everything she knew about sharks came from the movie, “Jaws”.

When she got out to where the sharks were, her father volunteered himself and her to be the first ones in the water to swim with the sharks. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea. They can grow to a length of over 60 feet. This particular whale shark was a little over 30 feet long. To her credit, she decided to conquer her fears by bravely jumping in and going up to touch the shark. As she reached out to touch the shark, one of the tour guides yanked her hand back. They went to the surface and the tour guide explained in rather angry tones that you are not supposed to touch a whale shark. Why? It’s because the whale shark coats itself with a rather clear slime to protect its skin. If you touch the shark, you might scrape some of this off and thus leave the shark open to infection. The whale shark itself is no threat to humans; it is a filter feeder that lives off tiny organisms in the sea. At eight years old, she was a much greater threat to the shark than the shark could ever be to her.

It is surprising to human beings sometimes just how our view of the world is distorted. She saw a “big” shark and a “small” girl, and concluded that the odds were all in favor of the shark. We often see the powers of this world the same light. We seem so small, and they seem so arrogant and high and mighty. “Pride goeth before a fall” — but sometimes the fall doesn’t happen when we want it to. But hubris is still there; God still brings down the prideful and evil. Sometimes we forget that he is not finished with us yet.

We forget some of the essential characteristics of God — especially when we look at ourselves. We seem so weak and forget that we are not the only resource available. Indeed, it might be helpful to lay this out explicitly.

·         God is powerful.

·         God will intervene for those he loves.

·         God loves us, to the point of going to the Cross.

The battle belongs to the Lord. That’s why we say that we “celebrate” Communion. The bread and cup represents his sacrifice on the Cross. They also remind us of the Resurrection and of our resurrection to come. Communion symbolizes to us the triumph of God’s love. It also shows us the promise of victory to come, when he returns.

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