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Communion Meditations

by Myron J. Taylor

When I began to think seriously about the celebration of the Lord's Supper in worship, I came to realize what an opportunity it was to say something theologically and spiritually significant each week. I began to write a communion meditation to be printed in the order of service each Sunday. Many have said they found these short pieces helpful. Other ministers have asked to use them in their worship. Several hundred of these meditations are available.

 ~ Dr. Myron J. Taylor

Also Available:

A Service For The Celebration of The Lord's Supper

A Service For The Celebration of The Lord's Supper For Children

Communion and Christian Character

An article on the ethical dimension of The Supper and a series of Communion Meditations on "The Fruit of The Spirit" in Galatians 5:22-26. This is an attempt to encourage people to grow ethically as a result of their worship.

The Communion Meditation

You have examined yourself. You have Confessed your sins. Now is the time to express your intention to lead a new life. Be specific about it. Have you been unkind and uncharitable? Henceforth, with God's help, you will be kind and charitable. Have you been lazy? Henceforth, God helping, you will be diligent. Have you been self-indulgent? Henceforth, by God's grace, you will be self-controlled and self-denying. You alone can see the old self you are casting off and the new self you are taking on. If you honestly feel you do not want this new life strongly enough, pray this prayer: "O Lord, help me want to be the person you want me to be."

The Communion Meditation

The Lord's Table is a place of proclamation. Here we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord and that it is he who feeds us spiritually and upon whom we depend in our hunger. Here the benefits of Christ's death are made real to us. Here we proclaim to the world our unity in Christ. Our unity is declared by our common need, our common prayer, and our common food. This is a unity not of our own creation but of God's—he makes us one. Here we proclaim in our thanksgiving. "Eucharist" means thanksgiving. The first communion was a thanksgiving to God and so is our feast today. Join us in our proclamation.

The Communion Meditation

The spirit in which we come to the Lord's table is of paramount importance. Paul wrote "Examine yourself and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (I Corinthians 11:28).Unless we come in the right spirit Christ cannot help us. A right spirit at the Lord's Supper is one of thinking about Jesus in his suffering and death, a spirit of humility, forgiveness, and mercy, a spirit of confession, contrition, and concern. Jesus taught us to pray, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Attitude is important.

The Communion Meditation

Teaching and an appreciation of the sacraments go hand in hand. Often it is held that sacramental worship is better for simple people than worship in which preaching predominates. It is claimed that the sacraments picture the truth more vividly and dramatically re-enact it so that all can easily grasp it. This is very much a half-truth. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper only becomes effective when it has been preceded by the fullest and most complete instruction. A teaching ministry and a sacramental ministry must go hand in hand. If you would have the Lord's Supper mean more to you learn more of the basic nature of Christianity. Worship often means so little because we understand so little.

The Communion Meditation

Where is the sacrifice in the Lord's Supper? Not in the elements of bread and wine, but in the identification of ourselves with Christ. It is not a sacrifice of what is material. It is a sacrifice of the spirit. To forgive the person who has wronged us, to love our enemy, to conquer pride, to overcome lust, to deny the sins that so easily get to us–these things mean sacrifice, and unless we make such sacrifice, the cross of Jesus has not brought us into reconciliation with God.

The Communion Meditation

We sometimes wish that we were able to see the Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh, to walk with him through the fields, and to hear him teach. Yet it is possible for Jesus to be with his people in a very real sense. While in the flesh he was "the prisoner of an hour and place". Only when he was no longer present as a man among men and women could his presence be manifested to all people in every place through the power of the Holy Spirit. That was the reason Jesus said that it was "expedient" for him to go away (John 16:7). Now, as we open our hearts to him, he will come and live in us. "Listen! I am standing at the door knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you, and eat with you, and you with me."

The Communion Meditation

Do you have real faith as you come to the Lord's table? It is easy to answer that question glibly–and wrongly. You believe in God, you profess the body of essential Christian beliefs, and so, you may conclude, you have faith. But ask yourself this, do I live by simple and wholehearted trust in God, or do I put that trust by which I live in my own self, or in luck, or in money, or in other people? God bids us to put our whole trust in him. The Lord's Supper is an act of simple trust.

We come, obedient to the Word,

To feast on heavenly food;

Our meat the body of the Lord,

Our drink his precious blood.

The Communion Meditation

Dr. Leslie D. Weatherhead describes for us a communion service in his old church in Madras, India. He pictures at communion "a converted Buddhist and his family, a converted Brahmin, a young fellow who was born a Mohammedan, a leper, a half-caste, a prosperous English businessman, a Davidian student, a Syrian Christian, the colonel of the regiment in which I served in the war, an Indian lawyer, a professor at the university." This is a picture of the Church universal, united across all barriers of our fractured humanity, kneeling at the feet of Jesus. What other real hope is there for unity?

The Communion Meditation

The Lord's Supper is effective–it does something. This is strange language to most of us. We understand how we do something, take the bread and break it and the cup and drink it, but we may not see how God does anything. We do not come to the table to learn something with our minds: we come to meet God. God and people meet here and something happens. Here we touch eternity. Here God gives love, forgiveness, acceptance and we receive. He acts, and we adore. In prayer we go to God. In the Lord's Supper he comes to us. We are not learning something, or remembering something, but doing something–we are meeting God.

The Communion Meditation

It is the Lord himself who presides at the table. He solemnly says to us, "This is my body. This cup is the New Covenant in my blood." Remember that these are his own words, and these words mean nothing, unless they mean that through the bread and wine which we receive, his real Presence is given to the believing soul. As we receive that Presence we find that he is able to do for us all that his disciples found he could do for them. He brings forgiveness to us, and he renews us; he teaches us what his will is that we should do, and he makes us strong to do it; he heals the wounds and comforts the sorrows of our life: he brings us back to our Father, and gives us our place again in our Father's house.

The Communion Meditation

It was the Lord's last wish that the Supper be kept "In remembrance of me", and the Church has always held it sacred. In the simple, yet unfathomably profound, action of the Lord's Supper, faith has been nourished down the centuries, and hope kindled, and love sustained. So the Church, at Christ's command, takes the bread, and breaks it, and sees Calvary before its eyes; takes the wine, and pours it out, and remembers the blood of the cross by which the world is saved. The Church, in the keeping of the Supper, has always found, not only a memorial but a presence. God comes to us and makes himself real to our faith. "Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face."

The Communion Meditation

Dr. James Cleland of Duke University was deeply impressed as a boy by his mother's love for the Communion Service. For over sixty years she seldom missed a celebration. He sought her interpretation of the Lord's Supper one day and writes: "She looked at me frankly and said, seriously and determinedly, 'Our Lord asked his friends not to forget him, I am one of his friends. I do not forget him.' " We gather today about the Lord's Table as friends of Jesus.

The Communion Meditation

The sacrament of the Lord's Supper ought to be a demonstration of the unity of the Church–and, God forgive us!–it is in fact the center of disunity. Some parts (denominations, sects) will not allow other parts of the church to participate in the Celebration of the Lord's Supper. In some churches you are not allowed to partake of the Supper unless they approve of you. It is sad! The only cure for this sad state is to remember and never forget that this table is the Lord's table, and not the table of any denomination or sect. At the table we are all guests of the Lord Jesus Christ, not the guests of any part of the Church. No church has the right to bar any person who belongs to Christ from the table. This is not a private party. It is, or it ought to be, a gathering of the guests of Jesus Christ. All Christians are a part of the body of Christ. Pray for the unity of the Church.

The Communion Meditation

Belief of any kind is enormously strengthened when we find that we do not stand alone. What we gain as individuals from our membership in the Church as a society is the realization of our common allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and head of the Church. This allegiance unites all kinds and conditions of people, rich and poor, ignorant and learned, all nations and colors, into one fellowship in Christ. This is beautifully expressed in the Lord's Supper. In the midst of our many differences we confess our oneness in Christ as we break the bread and drink the cup. From this experience we should arise feeling brotherly.

The Communion Meditation

As we examine ourselves at the time of communion we honestly face up to our sins and failures. Having faced our sins, we offer them to God in penitent confession. We believe in the forgiveness of sins. But God can forgive us only as we are forgivable. We make ourselves forgivable by acknowledging, confessing, detesting, and resolving to part company with our sins. As you do this be absolutely simple and direct–offer your sins to God and ask him to take them away from you. One Christmas night Jerome wanted to give a special present to Jesus. First he offered Christ his monumental works on the Scriptures, then his labors for the conversion of souls, then his own virtues. Christ is said to have answered him by saying, "It is your sins I wish for. Give them to me that I may pardon them." Christ asks the same of you.

The Communion Meditation

We must not think of the Lord's Supper in terms of magic. Sacramental symbolism can easily become literalistic magic. There was a time when great anxiety was shown that not a crumb of the bread or a drop of the wine should be lost. All of this finally culminated in the belief that a miracle actually changed the bread into Christ's body and the wine into his blood. Such magical ideas still persist in the minds of some. The power of a sacrament is allied to the faith which the participant brings to it. There is a sense in which we get from the supper in proportion as the faith we bring to it. "According to your faith, so be it unto you." The Lord's Supper is not so much a begetter of faith as it is a nourisher of faith. Be sure you have faith and not a belief in magic.

The Communion Meditation

The Lord's Supper is the central act of Christian worship. Wherever the church takes root, there its life is quickened, nourished, and manifested in the Celebration of the Lord's Supper. It is central in worship because it gathers up, expresses and makes effective the whole meaning of the spiritual life. It proclaims the Christian Gospel: in it God comes to us with his forgiveness and his strength. One by one as we partake, we respond to him with gratitude and awe. As one person has said, "It is the richest, the most appealing, the most mysterious, the tenderest of all. It gathers into its fathomless depths the unsearchable riches of Christ." So may it be to you today.

The Communion Meditation

When Jesus said, "Do this," he was extending to each of us an invitation to meet him in this meal, and he was laying an obligation upon us. If the responsibility of coming to the table is a serious one, and self-examination is necessary as preparation, what about the responsibility of staying away, and leaving undone something he definitely told us to do? We all know how sacred we hold the dying request made to us by one we love. Each Lord's Day we have the responsibility of keeping our appointment at the Lord's table.

The Communion Meditation

Around the world Christians meet on the Lord's Day to celebrate the Eucharist, the Communion, the Lord's Supper. Every hour around the clock somewhere around the world Christians are celebrating the beautiful supper left to the Church by Jesus himself. We come to the table from the North and South, the East and the West. It is a great privilege to share this meal. While there is no cost to us, the cross is there to remind us of the great cost to the host. It is the Lord's table, and all the people of God are invited to come and feast. It is the table of unity. God intends all our hearts to be one in Christ. It is sad that we have made it the table that divides. Keep the supper today and pray for the unity of the Church.

The Communion Meditation

We have been thinking of the Lord's Supper as the memorial of Jesus which he himself instituted. But the elements are not merely an object-lesson whose purpose is to call to our remembrance what happened at Calvary. We eat the broken bread and drink the out-poured wine believing that what God did in Jesus Christ for the sin of the world he does for our sin today. He forgives it, and reconciles us to himself through the sacrifice of Jesus. The chief significance of the Lord's Supper does not lie in what we do in it, but in the manner in which it shows forth what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

The Communion Meditation

Words can express friendship and love, but a handclasp or an embrace communicates and expresses, and therefore makes real, that friendship or that love far more deeply. Thus in all communities and all human relations there are material as well as verbal symbols; physical acts and objects, ceremonies and sacraments, that communicate, express and make real the common life. Material symbols are apt to seem to us either superstitious or sill. They can be sacramental–through the material the spiritual comes. When they are inwardly received with repentance and trust, the judgment and love of God are immediately present, unqualifiedly real, and effectively active. Instead of implying the unreality or absence of that to which it refers, a symbol communicates the reality it symbolizes. Through the sacraments of baptism and Lord's Supper our Lord is really present in his Church.

The Communion Meditation

Shortly after suffering a stroke the notable theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, said he would rather receive the gospel of God's eternal love through the Eucharist than hear some theologian or preacher theorize about it. There is said he, a directness and a reality in the sacramental symbols of the Word that our own spoken words do not have. The sacraments are, so to speak, the enacted gospel, when these symbols are received in faith—when the judgment and love of Christ are received through them in real inner repentance and trust—Christ is really present to us, and present in the most direct and real manner possible. He is the Word of God's judgment on our sins and of God's mercy and love that will accept us. In the Eucharist Christ is made very real to us.

The Communion Meditation

Sacrament comes from the Latin sacramentum which means a pledge or sacred oath. It was the military oath of allegiance which a soldier took when he joined the Roman army. In a dramatic moment the soldier pledged his allegiance to his commanding officer and promised to uphold the regimental standards, never flee from the field of battle, and fight to the death if necessary. When a Christian is baptized that person takes a solemn pledge of allegiance to Jesus as Lord. When that person comes in worship to the Lord's Supper it is a pledge of absolute loyalty to Jesus Christ. Every time we break the bread and drink the cup we say again, "Jesus is Lord." Be sure that for you it is reality–not ritual.

The Communion Meditation

At the Lord's table we demonstrate that we are one. "Anyone who east and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself" (I Cor. 11:29). Many feel that the words "the Lord's" before body in another translation are not a part of the original text. The correct phrasing is "without discerning the body". The person condemned is the one who does not discern that Christian's are the Lord's body, and must be in unity before they dare approach the sacrament. The Corinthian Christians were plagued with divisions and factions which moved Paul to write about the Lord's Supper in the first place. Paul's point is that to dare to partake of the sacrament while there are factions and cliques and divisions within the church is shameful and sinful. This faces us with the terrifying fact that it may be that so long as the church is so divided at the table of her Lord every celebration of the supper is a crime against our Lord. The sad state of the church is that it is divided at the very place which proclaims its unity. Pray for the unity of the Church.

The Communion Meditation

Historically it is interesting that John Calvin desired the celebration of the Lord's Supper to take place every Sunday. His reason is worth noting—"Seeing the great consolation that the faithful receive from it and the fruit which proceeds from it in every way, both from the promises which are there presented to our faith (for we are truly made partakers of the body and blood of Jesus, of his death, of his life, of his Spirit and of all his riches), and from the exhortations therein made to us, to recognize and magnify in our praise to God's wonderful gift of favour towards us, and finally to live in a Christian manner, being joined together in real peace and brotherly unity as members of a single body". Calvin calls attention to three graces which are given in the Supper: (1) participation in the body and blood of Christ; (2) praise to God, which is the primary sense of the word "Eucharist"; (3) and the fellowship of believers with each other.

The Communion Meditation

The history of the Lord's Supper reveals a number of changes–a series of movements–which are revealing. There is a movement from the house to the Church. The Lord's Supper began as a family meal, a meal of friends in a private house. That was a big change. There is a big difference in the celebration of the Supper in a Christian home in the First Century and in a cathedral in the Twentieth Century. There is a movement from being a real meal to becoming solely a symbolic meal. It originated in a meal for hungry people. The Lord's Supper was originally a family meal in a household of friends. There is a movement from bare simplicity to elaborate splendor. We still try to emphasize the simplicity of it. All these movements need to be remembered and perhaps, studied as we seek to understand the celebration of the Supper. We want to keep something of the warmth and personal interaction (fellowship) and simplicity of those early days, but we need to be reminded that does not mean carelessness, slovenliness, or downright crudity. Never forget you are meeting the Master.

The Communion Meditation

In our celebration of the Lord's Supper one of our Elders, serving at the table in the place of Christ, says, "All Christians are welcome at this table". Two theological statements underscore the significance of such an expression. Llucas Vischer writes: "The unity of the Church becomes visible in the common confession of the apostolic faith and in the celebration of the Eucharist" (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry).That statement fits well with this most powerful and meaningful word: "Through baptism and faith, Christians are brought into the life of the Church universal as well as into the visible community of the local church" (Ibid). Sacraments help us realize that we are a part of the one Church of God in this place and in all places. As you partake of the elements today try to think of what it means to be a member of that one great Church—the people of God—in this place and in all places around the world. This kind of thinking must prevail if the Church is ever to come to think of itself as one. As we keep the Supper we feel our oneness with all Christians in all other places in the world.

The Communion Meditation

More and more Christians around the world in the various expressions of the Church–the people of God–are coming to realize that the weekly celebration of the Eucharist is in keeping with its significance in the Scriptures and is desirable for the development of the spiritual commitment necessary for Christian life today. As the Church seeks to find again a visible expression of its unity, the sacraments are given an opportunity to allow their true significance as Christ's gifts to the church shine out ever more clearly. Lukas Vischer writes: "One of the most important statements in this entire document (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry) perhaps is the recommendation that the Eucharist should be celebrated regularly, at least every Sunday" (p.8). The new "Service for the Lord's Day" for the Presbyterian Church reads: "From New Testament times the celebration of the Lord's Supper on each Lord's Day has been the norm of Christian worship" (p. 20). Keeping the Supper each week does not make it become common and routine, but like looking on a picture of one whom we love makes them grow dearer and dearer.

The Communion Meditation

At the center of Christian worship is the celebration of the Lord's Supper. It helps to focus our attention of Jesus rather than on the sermon of our favorite preacher. The sermon is important–deserves to be the best it can be–but must always be seen as an act of worship offered to our Lord and preparing the way to meet him in the action of keeping the Supper. More and more Christians are coming to see the spiritual benefits of such worship. The Presbyterian Book of Worship says: "Holy communion was given by Christ himself. Before church governments were devised, before creeds were formalized, even before the first word of the New Testament was written, the Lord's Supper was firmly fixed at the heart of Christian faith and life. From the church's inception, Lord's Day and Lord's Supper were joined. Worship on each Lord's Day was a service of Word (preaching) and sacrament" (The Service for the Lord's Day, p. 20), The celebration of the Supper centers our minds and hearts where they should be–on Jesus Christ–expecially on the meaning of his life, death and resurrection. Keep the Supper sincerely and be drawn ever closer to Jesus Christ.

The Communion Meditation

When it was evening, Jesus sat at a table with the twelve disciples, and as they were eating, he said, "Truly I say to you, one of you will betray me" and they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Lord, is it I?" (Matt. 26:20-22). The saddest words in the Bible are not "and they crucified him", but these, "One of you shall betray me." The cruelest nails ever driven were not those driven into his hands and feet, but these his friends drove into his heart. It still goes on among his most trusted followers. The upper room question is still appropriate for us to ask in these quiet moments of introspection. "Lord, is it I?"

The Communion Meditation

"Do this in remembrance of me", said Jesus. What does it mean to "remember" Jesus in the Lord's Supper? The Greek word for "remember" (anamnesis) suggests not something past or absent as in a memorial, but rather a "calling to mind", a "re-calling". The Lord's Supper is the making present of the true Lamb of God who is Jesus Christ. We are remembering someone who was crucified, dead, buried, and who rose again. We are remembering One who is gloriously alive. We remember Jesus not as a dead fact stranded on the shores of the oblivious years, but risen from the dead and gloriously alive and active in his Church.

The Communion Meditation

Today we emphasize the simplest and yet the deepest meaning of the Lord's Supper–"Christ died for me." When we break the bread, and when we pour out the wine, we do not sacrifice Jesus anew in the sense of repeating what happened at Calvary. Rather we hold up the symbols that give expression to that one perfect sacrifice, and we pray the Father who gave his Son on our behalf to accept us. But God can accept us only as we truly consecrate ourselves to him. For the purpose of that consecration we meet at this table today.

The Communion Meditation

The Lord's Supper is the central act of Christian worship. Olive Wyou has written, "From the upper room there stretches an unbroken chain of light–like a chain of fires burning in the darkness–down the centuries to our own day." Yet this act of worship is sadly misunderstood. I would briefly mention three aspects of its meaning: First, the historical or memorial aspect, we remember here what was said and done by Jesus that last night in the upper room; this feast commemorates the mighty acts of God's grace in the cross and resurrection. Second, there is the timeless or eternal aspect. Here we are lifted out of time and have communion with the very life of God. This feast brings to us the very presence of God. Here we have fellowship with God. Around this table God becomes real. Thirdly, by this act of worship we proclaim silently but nevertheless effectively that our faith is in Jesus Christ; there we re-dedicate, re-consecrate, re-commit ourselves to the faith we took upon ourselves when we were baptized. This is holy ground. Let all mortal lips be sealed and every mind attuned to God.

The Communion Meditation

Understanding human nature as none other has ever done, our Lord not only appointed a special time when his disciples should "remember him" in thought and meditation; he gave them something to "do". Know what the observance of the Passover had meant to the Jewish people for generation after generation, he instituted a new feast. In this act Jesus enlisted all those subtle influences that cause the heart-strings to vibrate when men and women unite together in doing some solemn action. Each time the disciples observed this feast they could not but hear his voice speaking to them, feel his spiritual Presence, and be reminded of the meaning of the bread and wine which they had received from him on that last night in the upper room. So may we hear his voice and know his Presence as we meet about the table.

The Communion Meditation

To go to Church is to go to heaven. Our worship is meant to be the nearest thing to heaven that we can experience in this world. Time is transcended—past and future are brought into the present. What God has prepared for us in the future, is, in a sense present, not in its fullness, but as a foretaste. There is a sense that as we keep the Supper we are present at the great Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Worship, and especially the keeping of the Lord's Supper, is meant to help us make real in the present what heaven will be in the future. As we worship we are present in the upper room, on Golgotha, in the Garden of Resurrection, and, at the Golden altar before the heavenly throne. To worship is to go to heaven.

The Communion Meditation (First Sunday in the New Year)

On every page of the New Testament there meets you a wonderful sense of energy, exhilaration, an amazing consciousness of power. The writers never attribute it to anything within themselves–no strutting complacency, no blustering bragging "We are able". What you do find over and over again is "He is able". That is a marvelous thought as we begin a New Year. A thousand difficulties may lie across the path: God is able to bring us through. God is "able to help those who are being tested" (Heb. 2:18); "Able for all time to save" (Heb. 7:25); "Able to keep you from falling" (Jude 24); "Able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him" (2 Tim. 1:12); "Able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine" (Eph. 3:20). Go into the New Year with courage and faith, trusting God to be able to lead you through. The old hymn says, "I am weak but thou art strong". God is able.

The Communion Meditation

Our experience at the celebration of the Lord's Supper is meant to be a corporate experience–a real communion. It is not private devotions time. My dear friend of many years, Robert E. Reeves, died of cancer recently. In a short piece in Christian Standard, which may well have been the last public piece he wrote, he said: "Last Sunday morning when I got up, I intended to go to church. I didn't feel well enough to attend…I went back to bed. After an hour or so of resting I got up put on a video of the worship service at Plainfield (Indiana) Christian Church. I worshiped with them and when they took communion, I communed with them having the elements at home. It was a meaningful experience. I was home alone, but the Lord's Supper was a corporate experience." That is spiritually uplifting and theologically instructive. Separation in distance does not necessarily destroy corporate experience. Home is where the heart is. You may be at home, but when your heart is with us around the Lord's table that is a real communion.

The Communion Meditation

I love the communion service and have always loved it. To me it is the richest experience in worship that the church has to offer. I can find God in nature or beside the sea or under the great arch of the sky, but nothing can take the place of being a part of that adoring company which gathers around the table of the Lord. I love the quietness, and its distinctive beauty. The greatest music and the greatest art are dedicated to this table. I love the spiritual dignity and the reverence of the atmosphere which surrounds the celebration to the Christian who believes in Christ as the Son of God and who accepts the cross as the means of one's personal salvation, the communion service is meaningful beyond all words to describe it. No spiritually sensitive person can partake of the symbols of the death of Jesus without feeling that in some mysterious way one has, in that moment, met with God.

The Communion Meditation

Here in the celebration of the Supper is a symbolic act that brings home to us, as no mere words can do, the great affirmations of the Christian faith. Goethe once said, "The highest cannot be spoken; it can only be acted." Here is the highest point of our worship which offers the forgiveness of sin, healing for sorrow, strength for the day, and peace within even in the most adverse circumstances. For all who "draw near with faith" there is the realization of a divine presence and a power whereby the heart is cleansed, renewed, and comforted. At this table is the opportunity for self-commitment. "We offer and present to you, O Lord, our selves, our souls and our bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice to you."

The Communion Meditation

The Lord's Supper brings us face to face with the death of Jesus Christ. All through the New Testament there runs one mighty thought: Christ died to bring us into fellowship with God. He did for us what we could never have done for ourselves. The fact of Jesus' death is never complete until we make our personal response to it. We make that response in three ways: First, by faith, which is obedient trust, with a sense of our sin upon us we put ourselves in the hands of the crucified and living Christ for now and forever–we give our lives to Christ; Second, in the Lord's Supper when, still by faith, we appropriate (receive) the spiritual benefits of Christ's death symbolized in the broken bread and the outpoured wine; and third, by sacrificial living, remembering what Christ has done for us, we give ourselves for others in service and selfless love as Christ gave himself for us. Participate in the Supper and accept into your life the meaning of the cross of Christ.

The Communion Meditation

The Daily Bruin for January 31, 2000, carried the report of a lecture delivered at UCLA by Karen Umemoto, professor of Urban Planning at the University of Hawaii on the subject of "Hate Crimes…in Los Angeles". From 1994 to 1997 hate crimes have increased in our city. The average age of that crime suspects is between 11 and 23 years of age. Hate crimes are those involving bias, prejudice o r hatred based on a victims race. The lectures said, "I think there has to be a policy solution combined with a community solution". Law can only go so far, and then, some change in the human heart has to take place. That is where the Church and the Lord's Supper comes in. How can we even touch the elements of the Supper and hate. Since we live in a culture that too often teaches us to hate, we need very badly the influence of the Church that teaches us to love. Every Christian who takes the wafer and drinks the wine ought to remember that that act commits us to go out and seek to express love in all our relationships that week. "Those who say, 'I love God', and hate their brothers and sisters, are liars" (I John 4;20). The Lord's table is the place where we pledge to love.

The Communion Meditation

The celebration of the Lord's Supper is increasingly a witness to the unity of the whole church. As a Christian Church we have believed that the purpose of coming together on the Lord's Day is to celebrate the Lord's Supper. More and more churches are coming to see the spiritual value of keeping the Lord's Supper each Sunday. Read carefully these words from The Service for the Lord's Day (Presbyterian): "From New Testament times the celebration of the Lord's Supper on each Lord's Day has been the norm of Christian worship.…Holy communion was given us by Christ himself. Before church governments were devised, before creeds were formalized, even before the first word of the New Testament was written, the Lord's Supper was firmly fixed at the heart of Christian Faith and life. From the Church's inception, Lord's Day and Lord's Supper were joined. Worship on each Lord's Day was a service of Word and Sacrament" (pg. 20). This practice we have held in trust for the whole church looking forward to that time when God's people will again be one in a more meaningful sense than at present.

The Communion Meditation

Recently I read a review of a series of books by children of Christian missionaries. From India, China, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nigeria, and the Congo came stories of what it was like to be a MK (Missionary Kid). On occasion, some MKs used a phrase that seems to have originated with Pearl Buck, herself a MK, to describe their own, sometimes tenuous sense of belonging: "Partly at home everywhere, but not fully at home anywhere." That phrase brought to me again the celebration of the Lord's Supper. Paul says, "You proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (I Cor. 11:26). In Luke Jesus says, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes" (Luke 22:;18). At the consummation of history there will be the great marriage feast of the Lamb. It will be in the City of God, in the Father's house. We will meet our dead there, where we will look upon each other's faces, and clasp each other's hands, and sit together in the glades, happiest feast we have ever known. Then those who have never really been fully at home anywhere will know that they have come home at last.