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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Sour View

Originally scheduled for July 15

It is a fact that Christianity puts forth what is most likely the most sour view of the human race of all major religions. We hold that all human beings are sinners; they are fallen — which means they are capable of great goodness and also of terrible things. But holding this view does make life more acceptable for the Christian:

·         When somebody let you down, personally, it lessens the blow to know that that person — like you — is a sinner. You’re not perfect either.

·         If someone you admire, particularly in the church, is found out to be stumbling in his walk with the Lord, you explain it in much the same way. We are all sinners; none of us are perfect — his problem is that he was found out.

·         Often enough the problem is impersonal. You see the accused in the courtroom handcuffed and shackled. Perhaps you can even sympathize with why he did it. So you say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

It is a fact: we are all fallen — including the guy in your bathroom mirror. But have you ever asked yourself what God should do about this? Think about this for a while:

·         What do you do with spoiled milk? You throw it out. God has a bunch of spoiled sinners on his hands; should he just chuck us into outer space and start all over again?

·         If you find a new car and discover a defect in it, you take it back to the dealer to get it fixed. Okay; where does God take his defective humans?

·         If you can’t take it back, you at least take the precaution of never buying one of those again. And yet God lets us have children who turn out to be sinners just as well. Should he take away our breeding rights?

These questions reflect the righteousness of God. But God is not only righteousness — God is love. See then what God has done in his mercy for his spoiled, defective and indeed hopeless humans.

·         He paid the price of our sin. He is our atonement sacrifice — and that’s what we celebrate when we take Communion.

·         More than that, he promises that he will take us home to himself at the resurrection of the dead. He’s not going to treat us like some sort of stinking pariah, he’s going to treat us like we are his children.

Therefore, take this Communion in a worthy manner. Be a penitent sinner and examine yourself, confessing your sins and seeking his forgiveness. It is a grand and serious matter; do it with all solemnity.

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