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Saturday, February 18, 2012

At the Communion Table: A Puzzle Solved

When did you last experience suddenly understanding something that once confused and puzzled you?  Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.1619.

For much of my life I have puzzled over what’s the best approach to Holy Communion.  While at the communion altar, I have thought at one time or another that I should think of the last supper, that I should think of Christians all over the world and throughout history who have taken communion, that I should think of members of my own family, that I should think of my sins and failures committed and forgiven, that I should think of the fellowship within the church congregation I am now a part of, that I should muster my forces for the days ahead.  I knew we frequently referred to communion as a celebration—but as to exactly what I should celebrate was a mystery.  Suddenly last communion service it became very clear to me what should be on my mind, what attitude I should take.  Pure and simple, my thoughts and prayers should express gratitude: gratitude for Jesus revealing for all time that God is love, and showing in practical terms the nature and extent of that love; gratitude that Christ’s love constitutes the essential, fundamental truth for my life, for the world, and for the heavens above; gratitude that I can affirm and live daily within this truth, confidently resting within the arms of redemption protected there from eviscerating nihilism; gratitude for Christ’s death and resurrection, for the blessings of a divine mission and doable tasks, for the gifts of belief and faith, for redemption from death in all its confusing, stultifying, and terrifying forms, for the freedom that only comes with salvation triumphing over the fear and the power of dark principalities and powers found both within and without the human heart.  Communion is an invitation to eternal life and thus the ultimate occasion for gratitude and tears arising from springs of blessedness and peace.  

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