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Communion Meditations (2015)

Why Communion?

Originally scheduled for July 26

Communion is celebrated in different ways in different churches. One thing, however, is constant: the reasons for which we celebrate communion. The first, and most obvious, is that we do so in memory of Christ.

·         We do this in memory of the one who has given us our salvation. Can there be any greater gift than eternal life?

·         We do this in memory of the one who is our example. The imitation of Christ is the rule for living for all good Christians.

·         We do this in memory of the one who is our bridge to God the Father. He is our high priest, our intermediary in dealing with God the Father.

We also do this as a token of our trust in him. It is a visible evidence that we have trusted in him and have faith in his words.

·         It shows that we believe in the resurrection — not just the resurrection of Christ, but the general resurrection of the dead to come.

·         It shows that we believe that Christ not only rose from the dead but ascended to the Father — and is coming again, as promised.

·         In the meanwhile, we trust in his words, taking them to be our guide in life.

We do this as evidence for our obedience to Christ. In the most obvious sense, we do this because Christ commanded it. More than that, if you were a genuine believer you know that you must believe wholeheartedly. When you do something wholeheartedly, you do not skip the ritual parts. This is not a candy store to pick and choose in.

We do this to have communion with our Lord and the church. We do what he and the apostles did; we therefore have communion with our Lord as they did. That also implies that we have communion with the church which has gone on before us — 2000 years of the saints who have trusted the Lord and taking communion just as we do. What applies to the past applies to the future as well. We are in communion with the church to come.

Finally, we do this in hope of “drinking it anew” when our Lord returns. This has several implications to us.

·         It means that death is not the end for us; rather we have inherited eternal life.

·         That eternal life is not one of floating on clouds and playing harps. It is clear that Christ intended us to know that he would return again in the same way he left, bringing with him the full implementation of the kingdom of God. If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him.

·         We know, and proclaiming communion, that at the return of Christ we shall see the great judgment of God. At this time he will reward those who have served them well, and punish those who have defied him.

Communion is a ritual, but not an empty one — the creator of the universe created this as well, for us. He does all things well, his rituals included.

(The author is indebted to C. H. Spurgeon for the general outline of this meditation.)

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