Scraps
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Communion 2011

Scraps

Originally scheduled for November 27

You recall the story: Lazarus sits at the gate of the rich man, longing to be fed even the scraps. He evidently gets nothing. Then both of them die — and it seems their positions are reversed.

It's pretty obvious what we have to say to the rich man. After all, he could've invited Lazarus in and fed him at his banquets. Perhaps he felt that Lazarus just wouldn't fit in. He could have instructed the staff to take scraps and the crumbs out to Lazarus – but then again, Lazarus might be contagious. Having the dogs licked your sores doesn't do anything for personal hygiene. But most likely the rich man simply ignored Lazarus. He looked at Lazarus, and Lazarus wasn't there.

This is called a sin of omission; you refuse or fail to do something you should have done. It comes as a surprise to some Christians that “not doing” can be a sin. But it happens all the time. Sometimes, we just don't want to share our meals with the poor.

Consider, then, the spiritual meal known as communion. We cannot issue an open invitation to communion, as we would do for a banquet, for this meal is for Christians only. It is a meal specific to the community of Christ known as the church. A potent meal; it contains within it the bread of life, Christ himself. It is the meal of those who are saved. So you might well ask, "Just how do I share this meal?"

Let me rephrase the question for you. Do the crumbs of your Christian life speak of your riches in Christ? Can others tell how rich you are in spirit? Does your life speak for you and for Christ?

Let's go beyond that. Do you share this meal by spreading the gospel to all you know? The only way you can share this meal is for that person to become a Christian. And how will he become a Christian if no one speaks to him about it?

Remember, hospitality is a virtue. If this is true for our chicken and dumplings, how much more true is it when the table is not ours but the Lord's?

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