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Communion Meditations (2012)

Working With Weights

Your local sports club is home to an interesting phenomenon. Every now and then someone walks in by order of his doctor to get more exercise. Of course, he hasn't touched weightlifting since he was in high school – 40 years ago. The experience goes in certain places.

Phase 1 consists rather simply of remembering that when he was in high school, he could bench press 180 pounds. Being a reasonable man, he modestly sets the bar up with 150 pounds of weight. While he is in the process of assembling those weights some joker welds the bar to the weight bench. Something is wrong; so we go to phase 2 – calling in the trainer.

There are two ways to identify the trainer. The first way is look for a man with a black T-shirt with the word "trainer" on the back in big white letters. Or you could just look for the guy that looks like a former Marine Corps drill Sergeant. The function of this individual is to give you a certain amount of fright: this produces adrenaline in large quantities and enables you to bench press a city bus.




The doctor then tells you that you will eventually heal, but perhaps you should take it a little easier with weights. He then asks you to be reasonable.

What does reasonable mean?

·         First, you need to find out your existing, real capability. Honesty should replace memory and ego.

·         Second, find a trainer who can work with that and give you some advice on what you should be doing at what weight.

·         Finally, work on improving your body in a gradual manner.

The key to making it work, of course, is self examination. This cures unrealistic expectations and deflates your ego.

 That's why we are told to examine ourselves in communion. We need to have a realistic expectation of ourselves and others. Such self-examination will tell you that you are not going to cure your faults and flaws instantly. Nor would you cure the faults and flaws of others instantly. Rather, you will get a little better each week.

The Lord's Supper provides you an opportunity to examine yourself. May I suggest that as part of that self-examination you also examine your relationships with others? It is not sufficient to remedy those defects which only you can see. You are a human being; you live in a society; you need to examine your relationships with others. Then — most important — you need to examine your relationship with God.

As you examine your relationship to God, it is usually a good idea to start with gratitude. In your heart of hearts thank him for what he has done at the Cross. And knowledge that he suffered and died so that you might be freed of your burden of sin. Thank him for the gift of eternal life. As you partake, see with your mind's eye the body hung on the cross for you, the blood shed on the ground for you. Give thanks as you remember.

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