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Communion Meditations (2012)


Originally scheduled for October 28

You have probably seen the commercial. There’s a stationery company which advertises its services by the use of what they call an “easy” button. The gimmick of the commercial is that you press the easy button and all of your needs (at least in terms of paper goods) are instantly met. It’s a giant red button; therefore, you won’t even have any trouble finding the button to hit it.

Have you ever asked yourself why they use this method? The answer is simple enough. They know that you think ordering products like this is something that’s hard. Stationery stores typically carry a very wide variety of products, and this can make finding exactly what you want rather difficult. They know that you think it’s hard.

But what if you’re right? What if it is hard? After all, not everything in life can be easy. In fact, we tend to avoid those things which are hard and do the things which are easy. So let me ask you: is Communion hard or easy?

At first it seems that Communion is easy. After all, you’re not the one who is dying on the cross; your job is to remember the death on the cross. You’re not the one doing the suffering. Someone else paid the price for your sins on that cross — and that absolutely has to be the hard part of the entire thing. More than that, you’ve already gone through the process of accepting your salvation. Most of us remember that as a rather emotional experience — but it’s over. It’s done. Remembering that sacrifice is easy; remembering the benefits that it brought you is a joyful experience. Communion is easy.

But perhaps it is not easy. We are told that at Communion we are to examine ourselves. Self-examination is never particularly easy, especially when it concerns something like sin. It is intrinsic to the nature of self-examination that you are looking for something which is defective; nobody ever looks to see how wonderful they are. You look to see if something’s wrong. At communion, you are looking for sin in your life, and that’s not easy.

Once you find it — and there is nothing like looking to cause finding — you are told to confess it. Own up to it; “man up,” as they say in the military. It’s not that God doesn’t know that you’re a sinner; he just wants to hear it from you. He wants you to know what he already knows. So admit it. That’s hard.

Then once you’ve admitted it, repent of it. Most of the difficult things in life involve change, particularly change for the person. We are often creatures of habit; we don’t really want to change the curtains in the bedroom, let alone the way we behave towards others. But that’s what repentance is; a change of you. It’s a difficult thing to do; Communion is hard.

So you tell me: is Communion hard or easy? Maybe it depends on the amount of practice you’ve had.

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