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Communion 2010

Prisoner

Originally scheduled for June 13

She is normally a talkative woman.  But on this occasion her husband noted a silence expressed by the grim compression on her face.  They were leaving the prison after having visited a friend there.  One by one the prison gates clanged ominously behind them.  Each gate had its guard, who looked at them with an air that said, “You’re just like them – only we haven’t caught you yet.”  The last gate locked, she was still silent.  Out through the reception area doors, in the parking lot – she made no sound.  Not until the car was off the prison grounds on the main highway did she speak.

What did she say?  “I want to go back to the motel, take off all my clothes and burn them.  Then I want to take a shower with naphtha soap and a scrub brush.” 

Sometimes we see sin in its fullness.  Think what kind of people are behind those bars:  the man they went to visit was convicted of kidnapping, rape and attempted murder – twice.  How did they come to know such a man?  He was a member of her husband’s Sunday School class.  Perhaps we may take that as a reminder that we are all sinners at heart – and some of us have done such things in our minds, if not our bodies.  Sin like this is naturally repulsive.  It is also something which is natural to the human condition.

This is the measure of Christ’s love:  he died for all.  His grace is not restricted to the “good sinners” – if there could be such a thing.  He who spoke and the worlds began came to us in the flesh, and died for all.  Therefore his love and grace extend to the worst of us – and the best, too.  So it is that we are all commanded to take the Lord’s Supper.  It proclaims our unity as a church – a unity that extends even to the worst of prison inmates.  As you partake, then, remember that we are sinners all – saved by grace.

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