7 February, 2023

Staying Cross-Eyed

by | 16 January, 2023

By Doug Redford 

Doug was in the seventh grade when he first realized he was having problems with his vision. He was having to squint to see what was written on the blackboard—a sure sign he needed glasses. But he really didn’t appreciate his need for them until he put them on for the first time.  

Before he put on his new prescription glasses, the assistant at the office said, “Look across the street.” He did, and then she said, “Now, put your glasses on and look across the street.” He did and was amazed at how the parked cars were so much clearer. He couldn’t believe how poor his vision had been and how improved the glasses made it.  

Communion gives us the opportunity each Lord’s Day to refocus our spiritual vision. It’s not unlike the salve Jesus told the church at Laodicea they needed to acquire and apply to their eyes (Revelation 3:18). Things can happen in our lives during any given week—personal problems and challenges, situations that loved ones or friends are dealing with, or sometimes just the way the world seems to be going. Our focus wanders from the Lord . . . from his presence with us and his promises to us in Scripture. It can require some serious squinting to see him amid all the distractions. 

When Jesus established Communion as a memorial for his followers to observe, he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” A part of that is remembering that Jesus is still with us “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We cannot see that far into the future, but according to Paul, any time we partake of Communion, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). When Christ returns, we will take our place at the “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9), which will be an even greater “Lord’s Supper.” 

For now, the emblems of Communion provide a way to carry out John the Baptist’s command: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). It’s probably the only time when being cross-eyed is a good thing. 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Currently he is the minister at Highview Christian Church in Cincinnati. 

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