Originally scheduled for December 2
Have you ever considered the many uses of the
English verb “to celebrate?”
We say that we celebrate holidays.
That can be a joyous thing, at Christmas or solemn thing such as
More personally, we celebrate
anniversaries and birthdays — something that special to people we
We can also celebrate people. Lillian
Lieber went so far as to introduce us to T. C. MITS - which stands
for The Celebrated Man In The Street, who is mainly celebrated for
being so ordinary.
The verb is also used with reference to
communion; we “celebrate communion.” It’s an appropriate use of the
It represents the original meaning of
the word “holiday.” Holiday originally came from the phrase “holy
day”, and communion certainly marks a holy day.
It might not celebrate a birthday,
but it is, in a sense, a celebration of a rebirth-day. Each of us
knows what it means to be born again.
Most of all, it celebrates a person:
Jesus, the Christ. It is his accomplishment on the Cross that we see
Perhaps more important is the question of why
Sometimes we celebrate to remember
something. Celebrating a birthday is like that; it is a remembrance
of the fact that you were born. Such a celebration is welcome when
your child but might be a bit less welcome as you get a bit older.
Communion helps us remember what Christ did for us on the Cross;
bringing us the love of God — and that is always worth remembering.
Sometimes we celebrate to honor
someone, as we do on Veterans Day. In communion we honor the man who
gave his life that we might live — eternally.
Sometimes the celebration is an
occasion to reflect upon what has been done. It is not just a
question of honoring someone, but reflecting upon what we should do
about it. Communion is like that; we are told to examine ourselves.
“Let a man examine himself.” Self-examination
is never very popular, because you’re looking for things that are
wrong. But if you don’t look for things that are wrong, how would
you ever find them? Self-examination brings our sins to the cross
where they may be forgiven; self-examination brings us to the cross
to seek the aid of the one who truly can help. Examine yourself;
seek his forgiveness and accepted in the body and blood given to you