I stood in the George Bush Presidential Library and looked at all of the history of George W. Bush’s presidency. I looked at gifts that were given, and pictures of their dogs. There were countless interesting facts and pictures. There is even a recreated Oval Office where you can sit at the desk and act like you are the President of the United States for a minute or two and snap a selfie. It is simply fascinating.
But when does history become more than history? When is it that we connect to the past? When is it that we become part of the story?
The most fascinating artifact was found in this above picture. This beam came from one of the twin towers reasonably close to the impact of one of the planes from the dreadful attack on September 11, 2001. Around it on the wall is a list of thousands of names. These names are real people who were killed the day we were attacked. These names are people who were men with wives and children. They were daughters, sons and mothers. They were people who just thought they were going to work or getting on a plane.
I remember that day and it was the day everything changed. It was the day we began to think about being shot at in church, attacked in a mall, or bombed from above our house. It was the day we stopped feeling safe.
I reached out and touched the metal. It was bent and reshaped from the extreme heat of he impact. When I touched the beam I thought about the pain and the sorrow of that day. Our country had never been attacked like this before. There was so much emotion and national pride after this event. There was pain and sorrow, but also pride. You can’t keep us down. You can hurt us, but you can’t destroy the best nation in the world.
This feeling that I felt is hard to describe, but this is what communion is supposed to do for us as well. In the church we have this 2000 yr old discussion about if it is real blood and flesh, or if there is a spiritual presence, or if it is just a symbol. There also seem to be several variations of those views in the middle. It can be painful to sort all of it out. I don’t want to make light of any point of view and I am not saying the discussion isn’t important. But, when Christ asked that we do this in remembrance of Him, this act is what connects us back to the night before He went to the cross. This act is what connects us to the cross, the first century, the fifth century, the last century and the martyrs of China, the Sudan, Iran or North Korea today. It is what brings us together. It makes us one people just like Christ prayed we would be that very night in John 17. As one Body, we have one purpose and that purpose is Christ and His mission for us to influence the world around us.
We are also asked to evaluate ourselves before taking communion. We need to search our hearts and repent of our sins. It isn’t what saves us, but by taking this bread and drinking this cup we are agreeing that His death and resurrection was enough to pay for our sins. We are agreeing we are a part of His family. We are His people! We are redeemed!
Christ’s asked us to connect with Him. He gave us something physical to celebrate together and remember the great price that was paid and remember we are not alone. Many have lived and died for Him around the world.
photo credit: sacredjourneyracine.com
The next time you take communion remember Christ. Remember it was the night everything changed. Remember the apostles and how the scattered and felt scared, but remember the hero. Remember He bled and died. Remember He disarmed hell’s army making a public spectacle of them and destroyed your sin. Remember He died so that we might live and He rose to be with us forever. By taking this bread and this wine you are part of the story, the history, the legacy that is the church.
Take it and remember that Christ died for you and feed on Him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving. Amen.
Check out The Introduction to my book, “The New Testament Challenge . There are 260 Chapters in The New Testament. 1 Chapter a day 5 days a week 52 weeks a year 5 x 52 = 260! Take the Challenge! Change the World!
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