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Communion Meditations (2013)

Jalama Beach


Originally scheduled for December 29

Are you looking for a different sort of experience for this year’s New Year’s Eve festivities?  You might try camping out at Jalama Beach (pronounced “ha-LA-ma” – it’s an old Chumash Indian word.) It’s located near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California – just go to the middle of rural nowhere, and it’s fourteen miles further in.  The sounds are a little bit different.  There’s a train that rumbles through about nine o’clock;  usually, some of the younger kids will perform imitation wolf howls about then, too.  Mostly, however, you will hear the sound of the surf.  It’s a quiet time at a quiet place – perfect for contemplation.

It being New Year’s Eve, you might ask what you should be contemplating.  Let me make some suggestions which have been fruitful in the past:

·         Contemplate your trials and troubles.  You may find that some are the kind you should “count all joy” as they confirm the fact that your faith is troublesome to others.  Other types may be preparing you for what is to come.

·         Contemplate your sins.  We make New Year’s resolutions for a reason.

·         Contemplate your blessings.  It’s a good time to look back and see just how good God has been to you.  Then remember that his mercies are new every morning.

Most of you won’t be at the beach this New Year’s Eve.  But you should take a little “beach time” as you take communion; the Scriptures tell us that we should examine ourselves at this time.

·         Examine your trials and troubles; is there something you need to turn over to God’s care?

·         Examine your sins; is there something you need to confess?

·         Examine your blessings, especially the sacrifice that makes salvation possible.

Then, as you partake, give thanks that Christ gave his life as ransom for you.  The New Year is a time to look forward – and for the Christian, to look forward with hope.

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