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Communion Meditations (2006)

Homecoming

Originally delivered September 24

It is the blessing of God that many of our childhood memories are erased.  Often the pain and suffering that come with growing up are remembered no more.  It is a form of amnesia that prevents vengeance, pain and hard-heartedness.

But many of our childhood memories are treasured.  To a young boy the word “Grandpa” was magic.  Grandpa had time to talk to you, not just at you.  His skill with a pocket knife was legendary, and he took the time to teach this to his grandson.  We did not often get to see Grandpa, as we moved around quite a bit, but when we went “home” the times were memorable.  I remember how happy my mother was when she had her dad around. 

When I had children I found that going home now meant to my parents house.  I could see again the joy in homecoming.  Dad and I would share the good times, and Dad always had the time for his grandchildren.  He would tell my son tales of his father, who was a major league pitcher—and thus he encouraged my little leaguer. 

Some day, I hope, I will have the chance to be a grandfather.  Having had two excellent examples in my life, I hope to be the grandfather my grandchildren remember with fondness.  Homecoming should be as warm and wonderful for them as it was for me.

Communion is rather like such a homecoming;  it is our gathering before the Lord.

· We have communion with those we see around us, the people in the same pews.  It is good to be with them, and to have our Lord present.

· We have communion with those who share the faith all around the world.  Not just of our denomination, but all those who name the Name of Christ.

· We have communion with all those who have gone before us, the Church universal, militant and triumphant.  By the power of God we take the same body and blood with all who know Jesus as the Christ.

Should we not, then, give thought for those we are in communion with?  For those present with us, have we forgiven?  Is there any barrier to our communion with each other?  For those around the world, should we not praise the Lord for the great and wonderful things He is doing through His church?  And for the Church universal, should we not thank God for the sacrifice of His Son, which gave rise to our communion.  We celebrate it, knowing that we do so until the time of the ultimate Homecoming, when Jesus returns.

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