Originally scheduled for August 8
Imagine yourself alone in a hotel room, in a city in which
you know no one, and you’re suffering from chest pain. A lot of chest pain.
First there’s the
denial. Take an antacid, maybe it will go away. You know better, but you
don’t want it to be heart trouble. That’s serious. But maybe the pain
will go away.
It doesn’t go
away. It gets worse. You have to make a decision: risk your life, or put up
with the inconvenience of a hospital trip. Maybe you could just drive?
Finally, you call
the hotel clerk – somebody has to tell the paramedics where your room is. The
hotel staff responds; in the distance you hear sirens and know that this time
the sirens are for you.
They place you in the ambulance. You quickly note that
everyone – except the hotel clerk, who is not a medical professional – is very
reassuring. Everything will be fine. Which, of course, is the best indicator
that things are very serious. You spend the next few minutes staring up at the
roof of the ambulance, thinking, “Why don’t they put a sun roof in these
things? I’m supposed to be able to see where I’m going.” You arrive at the
hospital and enter the air of medicine: people and paraphernalia that are unique
to the world of the hospital.
Up until now you’ve had activity to occupy your mind. Now,
you wait. You’d really like to be bored waiting, thinking that meant it’s not
really serious. But the doctor is prompt; matters are severe; a surgical suite
is prepared for you.
Sin is rather like that. We don’t want to admit it; we’ll
try our own remedy for a while. Things get worse until you finally appeal for
help. The help comes in the form of people who don’t want to alarm you, of
course, but … it is serious. It’s not a matter of life and death – it’s more
serious than that. It’s heaven and hell. So your friends carry you to the one
person who can help; the Great Physician who alone holds the keys to heaven and
He has done what needs to be done; it simply needs to be
applied to you. He is the one who made the sacrifice at Calvary which atones
for your sin. Communion is the reminder of that fact. It is also the
continuing treatment of sin. Therefore, examine yourself. Do not stay in denial;
seek help. You may not see where you are going with this, but Christ does.
Enter into fellowship with Christ and receive his healing. Remember how
serious you discovered sin to be; remember how great a salvation you received.