Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Originally scheduled for December 22
On the coast of California between Santa Cruz
and San Francisco stands the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
It was first lit in 1871, and is still in use as a lighthouse
today. The original
equipment has been replaced several times (the light originally
burned pig fat for the main light; it’s now electric, of course.)
But what might interest you about Pigeon Point is that it is
now a state park.
Thousands of visitors come to see the lighthouse each year.
The station was automated in 1972; some time later the
lighthouse keeper’s house was converted to a youth hostel.
In short, Pigeon Point is mostly known today as a tourist
attraction. But it’s
still a working lighthouse.
Sometimes things do change purpose.
Around the world there are castles which, when built, were
meant to be strong fortresses for times of war.
Today they are tourist attractions, complete with military
ceremonies staged for the tourists.
While this is no doubt good for the national economy –
tourists spend money, you know – the castle no longer serves its
original purpose. Many
lighthouses have also had this happen;
Pigeon Point is an exception – it’s still a working
Communion is vulnerable to the same process.
Your author once attended a church which served communion on
a weekly basis . But you
could see that they were just going through the motions, “to keep
the old people happy.”
There was no communion meditation
given; but to prevent anyone from examining himself they did play
loud rock music all through it.
Curiously, they did not use either
wine or grape juice.
They used pomegranate juice cocktail – it’s about the same color and
It seems that communion was just there to mark
a little break in the service.
The objective seemed to be to cause as little thought or
disturbance as possible.
Yet – such is the power of our Lord – the
original function of communion was still there.
The elements served still represented the body and blood of
our Lord. For those who
had been brought up to understand its true meaning, the time of
self-examination was still required, even if the music tended to
distraction. Like Pigeon
Point, it was still there to guide you along the way.
Perhaps we might look at it like this:
it is pleasant that people come to the lighthouse to use it
as a park. But the
mariner on the sea still knows its real value.
The service of communion may seem stale or hurried – but the
meaning has not been lost.
Not for those with eyes to see.