Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Communion (1995 Series)

Diamond in the Sink

Scheduled for January 12

My wife is not a woman given to “water power.”  She does not go into tears over the minor upsets of life.  She is not one of those women who use tears as a weapon to get what she wants.  When she cries, she means it.  When she cries, I pay attention.

So you can imagine that I was extremely concerned when I came home one day to find her hovering over our kitchen sink, bawling her eyes out.  She was clearly crying over something in the sink, and it wasn’t onions.  It took some time for me to get her sufficiently calmed to find out what happened.

She was crying because she had lost the diamond out of her engagement ring.  It’s interesting to see the difference in our reactions.  My first thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding?”  (If you knew how little that diamond cost -- and it was the biggest one I could afford at the time -- you’d understand my first reaction).  To me, it was a relatively inexpensive gemstone. 

To her, however, it represented her marriage.  She had lost the symbol of something which (she tells me) makes her happy.  I began to think about it in a different light.

Isn’t it interesting that the deepest form of communication in our species is symbolic communication?  It is the least precise form of communication, to be sure, because its meaning depends both on the one talking and the one listening.  For example, when I see an American flag -- a symbol -- it carries deep meaning to me.  For many of you it does also, but the meaning is somewhat different.  Yet we refer to these meanings by the same symbol.  The communication is not complete in what I say when I show the flag;  it needs your experience to be complete communication.  To my wife, that ring was symbolic communication from me to her, and it was very precious.

That’s symbolic communication.  It needs a symbol, like the engagement ring.  It needs a sender, but it is not complete without the experience of the receiver.  The deeper the experience on both sides, the more meaningful the communication.

 

It’s important to see that symbolic communication is used where the message involves the total life of those doing the communicating.  Such a communication is found in the Lord’s Supper.  The bread and the cup are symbols.  Simple things;  like a ring, or a flag, yet these are packed with meaning.  They represent the body and blood of our Lord.  As such, we see that Jesus committed his whole life into those symbols.  He has made this communication as deep as it can possibly be.

But the communication is not complete without our lives.  If we’ve never seen the flag before, it means nothing.  If we choose to ignore the wedding ring, the communication is rejected.  But if we commit our whole lives to Christ, the symbols take on the deepest of meaning for us.  They become, symbolically, the very body and blood of Christ.  They become our salvation;  they become the promise of resurrection.  And they are very precious indeed.

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