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Communion Meditations (2013)

Shared Memory

Originally scheduled for March 3

The moment is absolutely unforgettable.

Dodger fans will remember it as long as there is a team. The year was 1988; the Dodgers had struggled and parlayed unusual luck into a visit to the World Series. Their opponent was Oakland; the oddsmakers in Las Vegas were quite certain that Oakland should be heavily favored. No one outside of Los Angeles expected the Dodgers to win.

In the ninth inning of the first game, with two out and trailing by one run, the Dodgers had a runner at first base. Dodger manager Tom Lasorda went to his bench and tapped the National League’s Most Valuable Player that year, Kirk Gibson. Gibson had serious knee problems and a strained hamstring; he limped to the plate. He worked the count to 3-2. Then, as Vin Scully put it, "in a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." Gibson pulled the pitch into the stands; the Dodgers won and rode the momentum to win the World Series in five games. It was the first time in World Series history that a team trailing in the ninth-inning had won on a walk off home run.

It’s not just a memory for Dodger fans; it’s a shared memory. It’s something they talk about even to this day. Shared memories are like that:

·         Shared memory summon up the power of deep emotions. You don’t so much remember the event as remember the excitement.

·         Shared memory defines you as one of the group, in this instance Dodger fans. You become one of the bunch by sharing that memory.

·         If it is a pleasant memory, there is the joy of sharing it. Memories have the power to make you feel better; sometimes they have more than that.  You feel you just have to share them (which I just did!)

Communion,  by its very nature, is a shared memory.  It summons up from within us the deep emotions of salvation.  As John Newton put it,

“I once was lost, but now am found; I was blind, but now I see.”

It brings back to you the sense of “I was there.”  You recall the day that you accepted Christ as your Savior; you remember the moment when you were baptized. It’s the day that everything changed in your life.

But that’s not the end of it; if Christ is real in your heart you must share. As the old hymn put it, “I love to tell the story.”

Before you is communion; let it reach into your soul and bring forward the memory of salvation. Then, as you partake, let your memory dwell on the sacrifice that Christ made. It is by his body and his blood that you are saved. Remember it well.  Then go forth, saved to serve.

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