Monday, October 26, 2015


I talked about Advent last week as a way to purposely infuse our own lives and hearts with the truth that God is the One True God and that it matters to our every day lives. Advent looks to the coming of Christ. We get to remember how He came to earth in an act of humility and love.  Philippians‬ ‭2:7-8 reads, “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (NLT)

We also get to look to a future when He returns again to bring about resurrection for life in a new heaven and a new earth. Isaiah first uses that phrase, as we see recorded in chapter 65, verse 17.  “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.”‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

We see that John was given the same understanding.  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”” (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

What wonderful things to look forward to!!!  Praise be to God!

But Advent is a season, just a month out of twelve. And we should be living with eyes firmly set on the Promise all year long. How can we keep such focus?

Again, we look to Christ's example on how to do that. He gave us this gift we call communion and commanded we engage in this physical act as a church to center our minds and hearts on Him. 

I find this amazing. First, Jesus gives instruction, like “... “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’””‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬.

Then, He gives us the method to carry it out!  “He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We read again: “For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:23-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Here we see that we are to love with every facet of ourselves and love one another. And then we see a way of engaging in a regular act to remind ourselves just what this life is all about:  communion!  A word for communion is the Greek word koinōnía and it means fellowship or mutual sharing that results in needing nothing more.  It is a oneness of many parts. We see it in the Trinity, in marriage and in the church. 

The church manifests koinōnía during the sharing of the one Body and Blood. As we engage in it regularly, according to Scripture, it spills into the rest of our lives. 

This is a two-fold act of communion. The first is inward, involving our bodies, souls, minds, and hearts; we experience a communion of self, being in full agreement.  Our bodies are doing what our hearts desire and our minds find reasonable. 

The second is involving each other. We come together in peace with forgiveness, wanting good for each other.  We share intimately and fully, agreeing that there is no better thing for us to be doing.  

We go through these motions--fully engaged and alert--and doing so aligns us to Jesus' death, resurrection and coming again. We serve each other, look into one another's eyes.  This says, 'Hold on. The end is not here yet, but when it comes, we will be ready and Christ wins!  Do not give up.'

We have talked about the word communion and the depth that the word has. I have another one for you. 'Thee' is a cool word.  It means you.  But, more. 'You' existed right alongside the word 'thee' and people chose which to use in each interaction.  Originally, 'you' was plural and 'thee' was singular. But by the times of Shakespeare and the writing of the King James Bible, people used 'you' to speak with someone who was an acquaintance or stranger.  It was used formally, keeping the receiver at arm's length. 'Thee', on the other hand, was for the closest of friends and family.  There are people groups who continue to use these terms today.  Pretty neat to read in the KJV people choosing to talk with God using 'thee', huh?

So, just as we do Advent each year, we do communion each week. Just as with Advent, we choose how to experience it, as well.  It is a steady diet of truth when we take part in this holy time together as Bride and Groom. Or, not.  We get to choose. Will we go through the motions of a mindless ritual?  Heaven forbid! Let us choose to involve our entire selves as we serve each other the "Body, broken for thee" and the "Blood, poured out for thee."

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