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Communion Meditations (2013)


Originally scheduled for March 17

Perhaps you never thought about it, but pause for a minute and reflect on the fact that the physical elements used in communion are among the most common edible substances on earth. There is nothing rare or esoteric about either bread or wine (or grape juice.)

·         Bread? It’s something that you can make out of ground-up wheat, which is flour, and water. Wheat grows practically anywhere, except Antarctica.

·         Grapes? One of the oldest plants known to civilization. Wine is something that mankind has known how to make for thousands of years.

Christ chose two elements for communion which were extremely common. We might well ask why.

I submit to you that he picked these elements, as common as they are, specifically because they were so common.

·         First, this enables practically everyone to participate in communion. The ingredients are right at hand and available even to the poorest of the poor.

·         Next, the very ordinariness of these elements makes it certain that you will not be dazzled by the way they are presented. Have you ever really been impressed by gold plated communion trays? Have you ever commented on what vintage the wine might be? Have you ever been impressed by the artisan nature of the bread? To ask the question shows the absurdity of the answer.

·         Perhaps most important, the elements are ordinary so that you will look beyond the elements to see the meaning in communion. Bread and wine are so ordinary they cannot be the meaning of something so special as communion.

So our Lord puts these common elements before you; what does he ask you to do with them? He simply asked that you partake of them “in a worthy manner.” What does that mean?

·         He asks that you take this as a repentant sinner. Do not come to justify yourself; come to claim the forgiveness he freely offers.

·         He asked that you take it in a respectful manner. Do not take it lightly; do not think that it is “just a ritual.” Rather, know that it is the center of worship.

·         Finally, he asks that you remember. Remember the sacrifice that he made on the Cross, for you, dying so that your sins might be forgiven. His body, his blood make up your communion.

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