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Communion Meditations (2017)

Stones

Originally scheduled for June 18

The book of Daniel is often considered to be the key to prophecy in the Bible. One of the most enduring pictures that Daniel gives us, in Daniel 2:34-45, is that of the smiting stone. You will recall that the stone hits the statue on the feet, destroying it. The image is repeated not only in Daniel but also in Isaiah, Zechariah and the Psalms. We may note two things:

·         The stone itself is generally interpreted to be Christ. The destruction of the kingdoms and the establishment of the everlasting kingdom is held to be the work of the Messiah.

·         The kingdom that is established is, of course, the church. Please note that it is specifically prophesied that the church will last forever. Western civilization may crumble and decay (it certainly looks to be doing that right about now) but the church will last forever.

But see how the kingdom was established! Despite the violence of the imagery, the church was not established by force or power, but by the atonement of Christ. This was prophesied too.

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

(Zechariah 4:6)

 

Communion specifically commemorates this triumph of the Spirit. In it we see the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The bread represents his body; the cup, his blood. This reminds us of the greatest event in history; you can find nothing greater looking back. Because the church will last forever, you will find nothing greater looking forward until the return of Christ. When you take communion, you commemorate the eternal nature of the church and its Lord.

Given that, when you leave this place this morning, how should you behave? Peter extends the metaphor of the stone in first Peter 2:4-10. He tells us that, like Christ, we are the living stones of God’s house. You and I are the church; we proclaim it in communion. So then, how should we behave?

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

(1 Peter 2:11-12)

 

There you have it: by taking communion you have proclaimed the kingdom of God. Therefore, go from this place and be the living stones of the kingdom.

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