These are the days when Birds come back—
A very few—a Bird or two—
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies resume
The old—old sophistries of June—
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee.
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear—
And softly thro’ the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.
Oh sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze—
Permit a child to join—
Thy sacred emblems to partake—
They consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!
Emily Dickinson, Poem 122
In ‘Henry IV’ Shakespeare wrote “Farewell, thou latter spring; farewell, All-hallown summer!” referring to those summer-like days in late autumn following a killing frost. Today we call it Indian Summer and it is altogether wonderful. Yes, we know that autumn is quickly drawing to a close and winter is soon to set in deep with its shorter days and longer nights. Yet for just a moment, we have the brief remembrance of summer days that remind us of what was, and what is to come again.
When we celebrate communion, we are basking in the Indian Summer of our Christian life. Jesus was here. He was one of us and the life He lived taught us how to live abundantly. The death He died provided salvation and His resurrection is our promise of eternal life. We live here now, for a season in winter, but when we celebrate communion we remember Him, our glorious summer and know with full assurance that we will once again bask in His glory.
Even so, come soon Lord Jesus.
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”