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Communion 2009

Appearances

Originally scheduled for February 8

She’s at the health club every night. Most of the regulars know her story. She works out, and her body is in good shape. She knows how to keep it that way.

She wears her wedding ring – a symbol of hope and despair. While she’s at the gym, her husband is with another woman. It’s not that she’s unattractive; it’s just that the other woman is twenty-five years younger than she is. Her husband values women – all women – by their appearance. By his standards she is old, used up and worn out.

 

That’s the story of our society. We buy cars only if they look cool; a big, roaring engine helps too. Our clothes must be the latest style. Our homes require interior decorators to obtain just the right look. We must keep up appearances. Appearance is everything.

 

Consider, then, the Lord’s Supper. Even with all the elaboration possible, it is a simple ceremony. Its elements are simple too. Have you ever heard of “designer bread?” The cup of wine or juice is rather plain as well. If it’s wine, we see no vintage marks, no cork presented by a waiter in a tuxedo. Grape juice doesn’t come with vintage marks, just an expiration date on the cap. What kind of show can you make with these?

 

The truth is this: those elements are not for appearances. By their very simplicity they invite us to look beyond the outward appearance to discover what they really mean. “This is my body; this is my blood,” said the Creator of the universe. Do not judge by appearances, but rather discern the true meaning – and its impact on you.

 

“Do not judge by appearances” – this is required of the Christian at Communion. It might possibly be a good rule in life, as well.

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