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Communion Meditations (2012)


Originally scheduled for June 10

There is a curious phenomenon in American retailing. We might call it the "designer phenomenon." Put simply, it means that ordinary objects which are often sold at the lowest price possible can be transformed into luxury goods simply by attaching the word "designer." It seems that if we attach the name of a famous designer to practically anything the item suddenly becomes of greatly increased value. Perhaps the most extreme example of this would be blue jeans. For decades blue jeans were simply work pants, the only question you had was whether or not they would hold up to the work you were doing. They were considered not suitable for most white-collar work. Now, however, we are concerned about the fancy stitching, the rhinestones and of course the diligently placed where spots which reveal, well, something. It seems that the human being has to have things which are "exactly right." You have to have just the right purse, just the right blouse, just the right shoes, and even just the right lingerie. Just in case you think this is a "female only" phenomenon, I have one word for you: Rolex.

So why, then, hasn't someone come out with the "designer communion?" It can hardly be denied people have been searching for "exactly the right church" for the last two thousand years. Surely, then, designer communion would tell them they had achieved that quest, wouldn't it?

Let's think about that. Just what would a designer communion have? Perhaps we need a finer vintage of wine. (For those churches which use grape juice, I'm not sure there is such a thing as a finer vintage grape juice.) We need to accompany it with gourmet bread. Should we put the service of the communion in the hands of some Las Vegas showgirls? To ask the question is to show the absurdity of the whole concept.

In fact, there comes the first question of designer anything: just whose name are you going to put on it? It currently bears the name of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the designer of heaven and earth. Where would you propose to find a better name?

There is no designer communion because the current version was designed by the ultimate designer of the universe. It's his universe; it's his communion. We even call it "the Lord's Supper." There is no designer version because we already have the ultimate design. Design takes work; it doesn't come out of thin air. Ultimate design takes sacrifice; the ultimate sacrifice is given at the Cross.

The elements are simple; bread and wine. The method of service varies, but the purpose is always the same: remember Him. Communion, at its root, is a simple thing. The Mark of the Great Designer is that even his simple things are elegant. The elegance of simplicity lets you see the truth of the design behind it.

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