Census
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Communion 2011

Census

Originally scheduled for March 13

Every ten years the United States conducts a census. This is required by the Constitution, and has been done every 10 years since the founding of this nation. It's rather an important exercise, because many federal programs are funded at the state level — and the funding depends upon the population that the census finds. The more people you have, the greater your funding. So you can see that this is something that would be important to politicians. This is why, for the first time in our history, President Obama has moved the Census Bureau to the direct control of the White House – for their "guidance."

You might ask, "what's to guide? Just count them." The difficulty is in counting immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants from countries where government agents are always suspected of corruption. Getting an immigrant’s cooperation when he thinks you're about to evict him from the country is not particularly easy. Counting noses is one thing; knowing whether or not the nose belongs to a citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal alien is another. The census has no real direct method of doing this; they are obliged to make an estimate of this number section by section. Hence the "guidance."

We don't have a census in the church. But we do have something which is used to determine whether or not someone is a Christian: public communion. When a person takes communion, he is proclaiming that he is indeed a follower of Jesus Christ. Of course, anyone can take communion. But the apostle Paul assures us that those who take it falsely — whether because they are not really Christians, or whether they are Christians who are not practicing — will suffer for it. Paul solemnly warns the church not to take communion if you are not a practicing follower of Christ.

So when you take communion this morning consider your sins, and repent of them. Come to him with a clean heart. He knows you are a sinner, but repentant sinners are always welcome at the table of the Lord. It was for such sinners that he died. And that is what we remember; his death.

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