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Communion Meditations (2015)


Originally scheduled for December 13

Most men understand the protocol. If you get a new shirt for Christmas, particularly from your wife, you wear it as soon as possible to demonstrate that you like the shirt. This particular shirt was one which was nice, but not the kind that would ordinarily invite a lot of attention — or so I thought. I came up to the breakfast table but before I could sit down my daughter interrupted me.

“Dad, that shirt is YOSH.” Having no idea what the content of that sentence might be interpreted as, I snappily replied with, “Yosh?” I thought I was expressing my ignorance of the word; however, my younger son thought that I was challenging his sister’s judgment on matters sartorial. “Oh yeah, dad, that shirt is definitely YOSH.” So at this point I had a shirt, it was Yosh — but more than that I did not know.

The Urban Dictionary defines the word as an adjective which expresses an enthusiastic affirmative. This was quite some time ago, so we didn’t have that definition available. But my son rose to the occasion, and informed me that something which is Yosh can be a person, place or thing (most commonly a thing). The word is an adjective and has two characteristics:

·         It means that its object is perfectly suited to whatever task is assigned to it.

·         It means that the task assigned is a very specific one for which that object is designed.

(I would advise the reader that the meaning of the word has changed over the years since this incident, acquiring several new meanings which might not be acceptable in polite company. Use with caution.)


The concept, if not that specific word, applies to communion. We may see it this way:

·         Christ was perfectly suited to the task of bringing salvation to us. He is Son of Man, and therefore knows our weaknesses. He is the Son of God, and as such is the Word of God, the message in the flesh.

·         The task of the atonement, by which we are saved, required a very specific individual. As detailed in the Old Testament Law, the sacrifice must be perfect; only Christ is. He is uniquely qualified to be our atonement.

Ah, but you might ask, “where’s the enthusiasm part?” If you want to find that you’re going to have to look in the hymnbooks. You won’t have far to look; like the writers of the Psalms, the writers of the hymns understood the enthusiasm generated in our salvation. Perhaps you might remember this old hymn:

                                We have heard the joyful sound,

                                Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sometimes we must look back and see what great sacrifice it was for Christ to go to the Cross for sinners like you and me. When we look back at that we can see what a tremendous gift he has given us, and that is cause for great joy. The time when we do that “looking back” is when we take communion. As you take of the cup and the bread this morning, remember: this is the visible echo of the joyful sound — Jesus saves!

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