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Communion Meditations (2017)

Joy

Originally scheduled for July 2

The Fourth of July in America holds a unique position in American hearts. It celebrates the Declaration of Independence, issued July 4, 1776. We celebrate:

·         We tend to do it in large groups. Celebrations are seldom a solo event.

·         We eat! A celebration often does have a feast attached.

·         We celebrate the Fourth of July in our own unique way. It’s not so much a remembrance as a party — a joyous party.

The holiday has its own music, written by John Philip Sousa and its own method — fireworks. It is a uniquely joyous celebration for Americans. Have you ever considered the parallels this has to the celebration of communion?

·         We do it in large groups.

·         It is a ceremonial meal that we eat.

·         It has its own unique way of being celebrated.

But, is it joyous? It certainly doesn’t seem so by the way most of us approach it. Perhaps you might consider it from our Lord’s point of view:

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Hebrews 12:2)

 

(Emphasis added.) What joy could Jesus see in the shame of the cross? We might look at these items:

·         After the cross he will return to the Father, and the glory he had before the incarnation.

·         When the cross is through, the atonement was accomplished. Anyone who has known the joy of bringing someone to salvation through Christ can understand, in a small way, how joyous that must’ve been for him.

·         Jesus looked past the struggle to the reward — the name above all names, being Prince and being Savior.

Likewise, we too should look beyond this life and see the joy that is coming. For those who put their trust in Christ, communion reminds them not only of the atonement but of the return of Christ in glory. The dead shall rise; the living will be transformed and we shall reign with him, as it is promised in the Scriptures. The joy ahead is far greater than the suffering behind.

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