A YELLOW RIBBON
In Churches of Christ, we partake of Communion on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-34). At our Church in Ohatchee we usually have a short “Communion Devotional” before partaking in order to help us (and our visitors) better focus on what the Lord’s Supper is all about. The following is one we used.
I remember years ago liking a song titled, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.” It tells of a man who had been sent to prison. He’s served his time and is now coming home on the bus. But he admits that the girl, who once loved him, has every right to reject him. He’s to blame. So he’s written to tell her that if she forgives him, she should “tie a yellow ribbon ’round the Old Oak Tree.” If there’s no yellow ribbon, he’ll just go riding on by in the bus. As the miles roll by, all the man thinks about is that Oak Tree. When he gets home, will there be a yellow ribbon on it? He was fearful and scared to look for fear that the ribbon might not be there. The song ends in triumph with the entire busload of people cheering as the man sees not one, but a hundred yellow ribbons on that Old Oak Tree! His lover not only forgives him, but she enthusiastically welcomes him home.
The man in the song had been a prisoner for “three long years” and wondered if his lover still wanted him. The ribbons reminded him that she did. The yellow ribbons around the Old Oak Tree symbolized the love, acceptance and forgiveness that awaited him. The yellow ribbons were just ribbons and the Oak Tree was just a tree and would not mean anything to others, but it meant everything to him. Why? It was because the ribbons around that tree symbolized her love, acceptance and forgiveness.
Like the man on the bus, we’re sometimes fearful because we know we are guilty of sin and that we are to blame. Therefore, we wonder if God will really forgive us, accept us, and love us in light our sins, faults and failures. But His Word assures us that God’s yellow ribbons are already in place.
God did not tie yellow ribbons around an Old Oak Tree to declare and remind us that we have been forgiven, but He did put bread and fruit of the vine on His table for you and me. It declares and reminds us of how He did allow His Son to be nailed to a tree. And this memorial that we celebrate every week is much like the yellow ribbons around the Old Oak Tree was to the man in the song. This bread reminds us of His body and the cup reminds us of His blood. And a hundred yellow ribbons, or a thousand yellow ribbons, or even a million could never declare His love, acceptance and forgiveness like this simple supper does to us.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).