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Communion Meditations (2017)

Comic Book

Originally scheduled for July 9

The evils of the common comic book were well known to my mother. Like many another boy of 13 years of age, I read them under the covers with the aid of a flashlight. My mother’s objection was rather straightforward; she said that comic books preyed upon the minds of 13-year-old boys who were not ready for what was said. It’s all too easy at the age of 13 to pretend that you are Superman. The purpose of this, of course, was to sell comic books. The publishers knew what their audience wanted and gave it to them. Why? To make money, of course.

Another form of making money and comic books came at the end of each of the comics. There were a series of advertisements — do any of you remember the magic sea monkeys you could order by the mail? Another such advertisement came from an Italian bodybuilder by the name of Charles Atlas. The ad was always the same. The big bully came by and kicked sand in the face of the 90 pound weakling, and then walked off with his girl. (This doesn’t really say very much for the girl.) But, help is at hand! For a few bucks you could order the Charles Atlas system for bodybuilding. A few weeks later you would be able to handle the bully quite well (remember “love tap”?)

This raises a question for us. If Charles Atlas and his method works so well, how is it that we are still loaded with 90 pound weaklings? It’s pretty simple. The Charles Atlas method is performed in three steps:

·         Buy the system.

·         Start the system.

·         Abandon the system.

The main reason for the last step is that there was usually no one around to encourage the 90 pound weakling to take the dull, boring steps of exercise. Anyone who has ever gone to a gym knows that without a little encouragement you quickly give it up. You usually look for another solution, but bodybuilding always seems to involve exercise.

The Christian life has some similarity to this. We need encouragement if we are to continue to practice Christianity, and become better at it. For this reason Christ has given us the church. You also need an expectation of success; if you don’t see this getting better, you’re likely to conclude that it doesn’t work and therefore you should look for something else. That expectation of success is the return of Jesus Christ.

Most of all, however, we need a reminder. We need something that connects us with God on a regular basis. That reminder is communion. We are to remember the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which performed the atonement for our sins. By this example and reminder we are taught the Christian life. From this, then, go  forth to the Christian life in your regular, daily affairs. As he forgave us, we should forgive others. We should go alongside them in their times of trouble. And the praise of God should always be on our lips. Go; you have been reminded of the core of the faith.

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