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Communion Meditations (2012)

Portable Communion

Originally scheduled for September 16

It did not appear to be a major difficulty at first. The lady was dying of brain cancer, and her husband wished that she should have communion brought to her at home. It is a custom well-established in many churches that communion can be brought to the sick and the dying rather than have them travel to the church building. There seemed to be no one else available, and it appeared to be a small thing.

Perhaps we should have expected this; but there was no one appointed to do this on a regular basis. Indeed, it was with some difficulty we found the traveling communion kit. It evidently had not been used in some time. Apparently, no one thought this little ministry worthwhile.

It brings up the question: why do we take communion to people who are too sick to come to the church building on Sunday morning? Why would we go out of our way to perform this ritual in their home? The answer takes some examination.

If you go back into the original texts of the Scripture you will find that the word we translate as “communion” comes from the Greek word koinonia. It is often translated “fellowship.” There are a number of uses for it:

·         We are told that the Lord’s Supper is fellowship “with the blood of Christ.” When you take the Lord’s Supper you are in fellowship with Christ.

·         The same word is used to denote the sharing of worldly goods by the church. This means everything from sharing a meal to loaning your brother some of your tools.

·         It’s also used in the context of charitable giving, especially where one church gives to another church in a different area. A modern example might be your support of missionaries in Africa.

·         Finally, it is used to describe a certain oneness of experience. Those who have been through the same troubles together understand that they are in fellowship with each other.

So then, communion is fellowship with Christ and his church. Can you imagine how important that must be to someone dying at home? We tend to do our dying in private places, out of other people’s sight and mind. This may or may not be good, but it does have the effect that sometimes we ignore the dying. Likewise, when we don’t ignore them, it is a great comfort to them to know that they are in fellowship with Christ and with the church. After all, when you’re about to enter eternity the difference between heaven and hell is rather important.

But may I point out to you this: all of us die? The question of heaven and hell they become the most important thing you have at any moment. You want to face that moment of eternity in complete fellowship with Jesus Christ and his church. Taking the Lord’s Supper means that you are in fellowship with the blood of Christ and with his church. If the ritual symbolism portrays the truth of Christ in your life, then you indeed have accepted his sacrifice on the cross. That means your destination for all of eternity is with Christ.


So, just how important is communion?

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