Tuesday, July 26, 2005

And while we're talking about death...

I went to my grandfather's grave once. It was December, and I was bringing a poinsetta and a copy of one of my stories that I had dedicated to him. (Veni Emmanuel) I took them to his grave and placed them in the snow by the tombstone, and I sobbed. Now, to state the obvious, my grandfather didn't take the flowers. He didn't read the story. I don't know what knowledge the saints in heaven have of the earth, but I'll hazard a guess that he wasn't even aware that I had visited his tomb. (I know that he has happier things which require his attention, so I certainly hope that he was doing them instead.) I walked away from the flowers and the manuscript, and probaby the groundskeeper eventually threw them away. But I felt better for doing it. And that was the point, really. I wasn't meeting with my grandfather. We had no contact. In fact, my being at his gravesite only emphasized his absence, not his presence. Rather, my visit to his grave was a ritual act for my own benefit, allowing me to express my grief and loss. Now, I have a simple question for you. If Jesus is not mystically present in the Lord's Supper, how is it any different than a mere grief ritual? If the Lord's Supper is something that we do simply to remember the death of Jesus, then it's really not much different than what I did when I visited my grandfather's grave. But if He is really there, if the Lord's Supper is about His presence with His people...well now, that makes all the difference, doesn't it?

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