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Communion 2011

Looks Like

Originally scheduled for October 16

Looks Like

Have you ever seen a leaf out of the 1611 King James Bible? It's rather hard to read, as the English language has changed quite a bit (not to mention the art of the printer).[1] But the style is unmistakable. It is the same style used in the Middle Ages by monks copying the Bible. It is highly ornate and the letters are rather fancy. That style was continued by the early publishers for the simple reason that people expected it. They knew what a "real Bible" was supposed to look like that.

The tradition carried over into the words themselves. The spoken word was also "ornate." The expectation was that the Word of God would sound like the word of God. If it started with "hey dude" it wasn't the real thing. We know the Bible should look like; we also know what it should sound like.

Christ, the word of God, meets a similar test. We have expectations of the word of God who became flesh. To put it simply, we expect him to act like God. But because he is also human, we expect him to act like a human as well. So it is that God gave us the miracle of the incarnation; Christ was born of Mary because that's how human beings get started.

The Scripture tells us[2] that he is the image of God. The word used for image is now our word "icon." If you see Jesus, you have seen God. More than that, we are also told that he is the exact representation of God's nature.[3] So we may well ask, what is God's nature?

Volumes could be written about the answer to that question, but we may point out two very prominent things. First God's nature is that of justice and righteousness; second, God's nature is that of love. To be the exact representation of that nature Christ went to the cross – satisfying the justice and righteousness of God with the overpowering display of the love of God. It is the most important event in human history.

We remember important days in history. The Christian world celebrates Christmas; America celebrates the Fourth of July; some of us even still celebrate our birthdays. The most important day in history is celebrated here at communion. In the wine we are reminded of the blood shed by Christ; in the bread we are reminded of his body. There is a certain style in God's memorial; simple and direct. By his body and blood he reminds you of the sacrifice on the cross and the victory over the grave.

[1] An example may be found at http://www.greatsite.com/ancient-rare-bible-leaves/king-james-1611-picture.html

[2] Colossians 1:15

[3] Hebrews 1:3


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