G'ampa C's Blog

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another Communion Post?

A significant amount of dihydrous oxide has passed under the spanning archway since my last post on the Lord's Supper. Looking back on it, I have left some things out.
I will plod along with them as I can.

When the Lord started the whole thing on the night he was betrayed by Judas, he knew what was up. He was going out to die on a cross. He knew his disciples needed to be participants in that event, participants in his promises. He and the disciples were grounded in the Passover with all its nuances and covenants, and they had a history with a whole nation of people. When he made it his new covenant, he invited his disciples (then us) to be his people, his nation, his royal priesthood. Just as he knew Peter would deny Him, he knows we will disappoint him too, but He invites us, anyway, gladly, hopefully, proudly. His love for his disciples and for us is such that he invited Peter as well as Judas, to the meal. He does not expect us to be perfect to participate. When he calls us to assemble to break the bread and share the wine with him, he is calling us to Koinonia with a capital K. Every way that Greek word is translated to English, he wants it with us and wants it between us. Sharing, communion, participation, communication, in short: Intimacy with Jesus the Saviour, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Body of Christ. Intimacy beyond friendships, beyond family members, beyond earthly understanding. As Paul describes, we are feasting in His temple, participating personally in his death and rising, and joining Him and each other in His Kingdom. We are becoming one in and with the single most important event in all of history and the One through whom it occurred. It is monumental, it marks the redemption of all the Saints by the blood of the Lamb, and Jesus invites us to the celebration. It shows that we believe he did actually die, he did actually rise from death, and therefore his promises to bring us to eternal life are 100% reliable. Communion calls us not to boredom and naval contemplation, but to celebration with our brothers and sisters that WE ARE VICTORIOUS IN HIM!! Jesus went to Hell with our sins and beat Satan on his own turf, even with those handicaps. Then He came back for us. Our team just won the Championship game. Do we sit quietly while we contemplate the meaning of a personal foul? Do we get up and file quietly out of the coliseum? Do we avoid eye contact and communication with others lest we disturb the tranquility?
I'm not proposing irrational frivolity in our worship service. But... if winning a simple ball game brings us to our feet screaming and clapping and passing high fives all around, should we not be called for a little celebrating over our eternal salvation? The battle has already been won for us!!!
Every time we take the communion, it should be like New Year's, Christmas, and birthdays all rolled into one. What a gift we are passing to our brothers and sisters! What a gift they are passing us! We need a realization that it is not just a sign and not just a symbol, it is the reality of Christ's body and blood, it's evidence.
It's evidence that we still believe. It's evidence that we are players in the game, not just spectators. It's evidence that we have something in common which transcends all the categories which divide us. We are participating once more in the New Covenant Promises, with a Master who never, ever breaks his word. It's evidence that Jesus walked here and told us his body is truly bread and his blood is truly drink, and if we eat and drink of him he will give us eternal life.
If we can really do that in silence, without some mild celebration, without a knowing look deep into our neighbor's eyes, without watching those around us as they take the antidote for sin, without tears and laughter, without longing to tell each other what Jesus has done, then do we truly believe eternal life is real?

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

That they may be One

I have been musing this week about what separates us and what makes us one. When I muse, I often write to sort it out. Here are some excerpts:

Jesus prayed in the garden before he was betrayed. He knew what was coming. He had anticipated it all his life, but it was not going to be easy. What was so important that he spent his time in prayer that night over it? He prayed for the cup to pass from him, he prayed for his disciples, then he prayed for the church. He prayed for all who believed in him through the disciples message ("believers"). He prayed for us to be one.
We are called to be one, in the midst of our differences. Jesus, as he prayed in the garden, said he was one with the Father, yet he wanted something very different at that moment. Did he not pray "Let this cup pass from me." and "Not my will, Father, but yours" (the implication being that they did not want the same thing)? The human side of Jesus wanted out, and it was not in agreement with God's will. They didn't agree, but they were still one. How does that work, exactly, and why has that not always been so clear? They were one, not because they had no differences, but without consideration of their differences. Differences between us do not limit or control oneness, they simply limit and control sameness. They were one because God loved and Jesus was prepared to die. I am one with my brothers and sisters because God loved and Jesus died. Period. Because I am in Christ, I am one with my brother in that event, the single most important event in history. What we share in that event makes everything new between us. Our differences in worship, traditions and preferences have no relevance. We are in Christ together.
As humans, we tend to notice how others are different from ourselves, but we take it a step beyond when we begin to believe anyone different from us is wrong. We hear the call of Christ that we be one, but we have defaulted to being the same. Sameness and oneness are not synonymous; they are not even close. Seeking sameness in our churches and religion divides us at every turn, because WE CAN NOT BE THE SAME. We have tried for two thousand years completely without success. It is quite impossible. We, as humans, are not spiritual robots. God does not make us all the same, like some mass-produced windup toy. He gives the freedom of choice, even at the risk of our salvation. Having that freedom means we will each be different. If I am to seek to be one with my brothers and sisters, it must arise not from our sameness, but in the recognition that God loves and Jesus died, without consideration of our differences. In the sharing of that recognition, I find the peace to seek oneness with those very different from myself.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Victory in Jesus

I have been thinking this morning of a little lady we sang with at Hospice years ago. She was always dressed and ready to receive us on Thursday afternoon, and was there for several weeks. She was so gracious and pleased to have us there, and there was a kind of Spirit around her that was almost physical. The song she wanted to sing was "Victory in Jesus". When we got to the chorus, she would smile and cry at the same time and look up at the ceiling. I expected the Lord to pick her up any second, his presence was so strong in the room. Funny how she ministers to me even now, and I don't even know her name.
Oh, victory in Jesus, my Saviour forever.
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood.
He loved me 'ere I knew him, and all my love is due him.
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.


Friday, June 08, 2007


Over Memorial weekend I was blessed to get days off to visit with my mother, sister, nephew, and Kyleigh (with her Mom). Stacie graduated. Man, that was quick.

Kyleigh is a lot of fun. She talks and walks and carries on a little chatter to herself. What a cute kid! One of the things I did with her was to raise my hands above my head and say "Wooo- Hooo!!" She would hold her hands up and mimic a perfect but very tiny "Woo-Hooo!" I'm afraid she thinks that is my name, because she sometimes just did it when I walked into the room.

If her mormal response to me ends up being "Wooo-Whooo!!!"when she sees me, then I think I can live with it....

What a blessing to have Laura and Kyleigh home to visit.

Back Home at Last

After spending about 7 weeks out on a job in New Mexico, I am really, really glad to be back home. Being gone so much (actually leaving Sunday nights and coming home Saturday morning each week) I am really out of touch with all my family and what's going on. That close contact with everyone I treasure here is becoming more and more important to me; probably a result of heart tenderizer applied by the Lord despite my armor-like hide.
During this job and the many windshield hours, I have asked some questions.

What is it that makes us desire a relationship with one person but not another? Some folks (even those very unlike me) seem to attract my friendship like a magnet, while others simply do not. Is it just a willingness to seek a connection? Is it a timing and circumstances event? Or is it more?

I have made overt attempts to seek close connections to a number of people the past couple of years, simply by inviting it over and over, taking the initiative to approach. It is amazing what has blossomed from my meager efforts, so amazing, in fact, that I am certain the Spirit is involved. That is not to say it has been 100%, because some have just not worked. But... I have made a dozen+ new friends that are already very special friends. I have known most of them for some time and we never hit it off, so it seems a little effort and a little Spirit do significant things.

Sometimes I think the Lord has all these huge treasures for us, but we spend most of our efforts investigating the box in which they're stored.