Originally scheduled for September 4
John 6:53-58 NASB So Jesus
said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh
of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in
yourselves. (54) "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has
eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (55) "For My
flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. (56) "He who eats My
flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (57) "As the
living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who
eats Me, he also will live because of Me. (58) "This is the bread
which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he
who eats this bread will live forever."
recently become a grandfather (again) I am reminded of the basics of
nutrition for small children. Those of you who have had children are
familiar with the common baby food jar. It contains approximately
three times the amount of food necessary to feed the child at any
given meal. This is because one third of the jar will be eaten and
the other two thirds will be used as an object of play. This means
that the child will wind up distributing the contents of the jar in
a number of really interesting places: mother’s blouse, the bib, the
high chair tray, the floor, the kid’s hair, nose, ears — though it
is a minor mystery of Western civilization how the kid gets strained
peas into his shoes. It’s even more of a mystery how he gets them
inside his socks, between his toes, with his shoes on.
note one thing: the baby is eating things which adults eat. They are
strained, puréed or otherwise processed, but they’re made out of the
same ingredients. We have something of a parallel to that in
communion. To a new Christian communion may seem rather simple, and
indeed it is. It’s just that sometimes we don’t see that something
can be both simple and profound. Which it is.
We can see
this in several ways:
First, we see this in the nature of communion. It is a simple meal
made of common elements — bread and wine. These things would be
familiar to most Christians of most times. As you grow in the faith,
you realize that this is also a symbolic meal. Later, you realize
that the symbolic and the physical here intertwine.
Second, we see this in the necessity of communion. The Lord’s
Supper is commanded to us; it is not offered as an option. If you
are a Christian — new or 80 years old in the faith — you take
communion. It’s the same communion for the new Christian as for the
old Christian. There is no segregation in communion.
Third, we see this in the reality of communion. The creator of the
universe, he who spoke in the worlds began, says, “this is my body.”
The one who defines reality in his creation has told you this. It is
not a trite little ritual that we made up. It is at the core of the
faith — and the faith is very real.
cannot take communion without proclaiming to the world that you are
a Christian. Specifically,
You proclaim yourself to be one of the saved. You tell the world
that you have received the grace of God.
You also proclaim his death as our atonement — and the physical
reality thereof — and his resurrection. Taking communion states
You do this until he comes again — which means, of course, that you
proclaim that Christ is coming again to judge the living and the
proclamations can be made by the newest of Christians and the oldest
Christians. They are core items of the faith and completely suitable
for a new Christian. They grow in their value to the older Christian
day by day. For such a thing, you are asked to examine yourself to
see that you are taking it with all seriousness. Your Lord went to
the cross with all seriousness; you can do likewise in communion.