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Communion Meditations (2012)


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 Veterans Day.

·         More personally, we celebrate anniversaries and birthdays — something that special to people we love.

·         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 word:

·         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 in communion.

Perhaps more important is the question of why we celebrate.

·         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 now.

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