Originally scheduled for March 11
Every mother of a teenage girl has heard the
lament: "EVERYONE is going to that party."
The definition of "bad" in that
situation is this — your mother won't let you go.
The definition of "worst" in that
situation is this — you are not invited
It is at this point that the temptation to
become a party crasher arises. Your heart aches to join, yet you
fear the social consequences of being found out. Your entire social
life now depends on one thing: who was invited to the party?
We mass the same thing of Jesus Christ. Just
who does Jesus invite his party? There is no explicit list, but we
can get some idea from the history of those with whom Jesus partied.
One of the chief accusations against him was that he was "a friend
of winebibbers and gluttons." In short, he partied hearty. He went
to places that the politically correct of the day just would never
go. He was friends with people who were at the bottom of the social
scale: tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers and in general the
outrageous, the unwelcome and even the handicapped. The beggars, the
blind, the deaf, and pretty much anyone else who just didn't fit in
were welcome with Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, it seems that Jesus
defined his own version of "in."
But everyone knows that if you are "in", you at
least need to know the secret handshake. Or perhaps the cool phrase
of the day. There has to be something that defines those who are in
from those who are out. We are now come to the ritual which portrays
that difference, that definition. To understand this you need to
know the difference between those who are in Christ and those who
are not. The difference is in one word: love.
That is the core of the meaning of the ritual
we know as communion. It represents to us the sacrifice Christ made
on the cross, the sacrifice which was made because of the great love
God has for us. When we partake in this ritual we proclaim that we
are those who are in Christ. The price paid was very great, but the
invitation goes out to all who will accept him as Lord and Savior.
If that's you, you're in. This is the time we remember our Lord, who
loved us into the kingdom of God.