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Communion 2011


Originally scheduled for May15

2Co 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.  (King James Version)

The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James version of the Bible. It is considered a landmark of the English language. Sometimes it is instructive to look back to this old edition and see how the early scholars translated various passages. In the modern translations the verse above speaks of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, where the King James speaks of the communion of the Holy Ghost. It's still a valid translation; the original meaning of communion, from the Latin, is to "share in common." That's a pretty good translation of the word which is now translated fellowship.

So we might ask: just what we share in common? Paul gives us three things here:

·        The first is grace — the unmerited favor of God Almighty. We are the recipients of mighty blessings. It is the grace of Christ, shown at the cross, that helps bind us together.

·        The love of God is next. What greater love could he show us then to send his own son to the cross? So you see we are both blessed and loved.

·        All this is done in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit — the sharing in common of the things of the Spirit.

Communion is a symbolic representation of such sharing — it is a shared meal. Have you ever considered how hard it is to stay mad at someone while asking them to pass the salt? It is no accident that communion is a meal; for it is over dinner that many disputes are resolved. Sharing a meal, in most human cultures, calms the feelings of anger and betrayal that we so often have. In a similar vein, it's very difficult to go to dinner with someone when you have an unresolved issue with them.

So I ask you: is there someone here today with whom you are not in real fellowship? Perhaps there is someone with whom you have anger; someone that you have not been able to forgive. Please remember: your heavenly father forgives you as you forgive others. So if that applies to you today, let me encourage you to forgive your brother or sister from the heart before you take communion. Then, as soon as you can, convey that forgiveness to that person. Be imitators of Christ; forgive.

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