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Communion Meditations (2006)

Not Alone

Originally delivered July 9

Alone.  It is one of the coldest words in the English language.  It is the chill of frozen hope, it is the yearning of the human heart for what cannot be.  Most of us spend our lives in the company of others, just so we won’t be alone.

When does a Christian feel alone?  For most of us, the most powerful sense of being alone is when going through the death of a spouse.  More than anyone else on earth, a wife shares all those things the world mustn’t know.  My sister described the death of her husband simply:  “It’s just like having your right arm ripped off—every day.”

Sometimes we are alone by conscious choice.  It is a fact that God somehow does not need a favorable opinion poll;  sometimes what he needs is just one good man.  One who will stand up for the truth no matter how his enemies smirk at him.  It is a tough situation to be in; sometimes the world sees just how tough the gentle Christian is.

But for many, the choice is simply lifestyle.  Willie Nelson sang of cowboys this way:

“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,

Don’t let ‘em pick guitars and drive them old trucks

Let ‘em be doctors and lawyers and such.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,

They’re never at home and they’re always alone—

Even with someone they love.”

The true Christian is never alone.  Even in the middle of nowhere on a horse, or facing the city council with a chorus of boos at your back; even in the death of a loved one—we are not alone.  We can be alone only if we choose to be.  Christ, the gentleman, never forces his way into the human soul but waits for the invitation.  So, when loneliness strikes, we must reach out to Him.  He promised us He would be with us until the end of the age.

Think about this now with regard to communion.  He went to the cruel Cross for our salvation, and He did it because of His great love for us.  Do you think, therefore, that He would cease such love?  He cannot; for He is eternal and unchanging.  He will not abandon us.  As Paul put it, “Love never fails.”

In Communion we take the emblems of remembrance, body and blood.  By His great love He died for us; by the power of the Spirit He rose again.  Wherever two or three are gathered, there He is too.  Gaze upon His sacrifice; meditate upon its meaning; and know you are not alone.

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