Bags of Bran

July 15, 2012, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Bible, Biography

A friend recently prodded my interest by alerting me to the innumerable occasions in which I’ve heard the elements at the Lord’s Table called “merely symbols.”

Merely. Now there’s an out-of-place modifier, fitting as a banjo in a requiem. I suppose for some pastors, merely rolls off the tongue with symbols as rote recitation of a stock phrase that stuck in their memory from the training days. It is a phrase that needs desperately to be amputated of a dead limb before the significance of the whole ceremony dies from sepsis. Even if the elements are only symbols (and I’m not at all sure that such is the case), they are not merely symbols if they will sicken or kill you if you take them unworthily.

Perhaps the Ark of the Covenant (or the Box of the Promise, according to the kids in Sunday School) was merely a symbol. I’d ask Uzzah, but he sleepeth.


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