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Communion 2009

While It Was Still Dark

Originally scheduled for April 12, Easter

Many wives will sympathize with Mary Magdalene and the other women at the tomb on Easter morning. They had started out, John tells us, while it was still dark. Any woman who gets up early to throw a load of laundry in the washer knows the feeling. The women were coming to anoint the body with spices – considered women’s work in that time. They walked there with no light – both physically and spiritually, for they were expecting a corpse. But do you notice that they did their task promptly, without hoping that someone else would volunteer? Even in the hopeless times, duty’s call should be answered.

 

Sometimes Communion seems like that to us. It’s something to occupy some time between the music and the sermon; it’s a ritual that we’ve done this way for years. A ritual, but an empty one. We’re glad to hurry through it.

How is it that we fall into this dreadful habit? We have no light; it is still dark in our minds. How do we bring light to our minds? By examining ourselves, so that there will be repentance to cleanse the heart and clear the mind. If we will not do that, an empty ritual is all that is left.

Some might ask whether or not just performing the ritual is enough. Some of us were taught that way; don’t think, just do it. Indeed, the fancier the ritual, the better, right? To dispel this illusion you need only recall the words, “let a man examine himself.”

 

We must not forget that we do this in memory of Christ’s death – and we will do it only until he comes again. Communion looks forward as well as backward. The true meaning is kept alive in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. To bring this out, we must remove sin as a barrier between us and the Risen Lord. Examine yourself, and submit yourself to him. Does it seem like he will never return? Patience, child; first the cross – then the light.

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