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Communion (1995 Series)

The Only Act of Christian Charity...

Scheduled for July 13

Did you know that there is one act of Christian charity that can be performed -- entirely -- while lying down?

 

My rather puckish sense of humor delights me in this.  I sometimes daydream of what it would be like to approach a lovely young woman and ask, “How would you like to join me in the only act of Christian charity which can be performed -- entirely -- while lying down?”  (Best done outside the presence of her husband.  Husbands have been known to have no sense of imagination in these matters).

To the pure all things are pure.  There is nothing crude about it.  The only act of Christian charity etc..... is giving blood.  That’s right.  For those of you who have never done it (I have been a donor for years) it is done entirely while lying down.  And it most assuredly is an act of Christian charity, for lives are saved by this. 

You cannot, if you are a Christian, fail to note the parallel.  We are saved by the blood of Christ.  Indeed, Scripture assures us that when Christ took the cup to institute the Lord’s Supper he told his disciples that “This is my blood.”  It is the blood that gives life, whether we think of that medically or spiritually.

 

There is another point, however, that I would make to you.  The process itself is not particularly painful (there is a sharp prick of the needle, but that’s about it).  No matter how little the pain (I’ve even had one facility offer Novocain for that tiny amount of pain) some people just won’t even consider giving blood.  I know the feeling.  I’ve done this many times, and I still can not look as the nurse puts the needle in my arm.  At that moment they always ask, “Are you all right?”  I tell them I’m fine, which is a polite way of saying, “Lady, you’re dealing with a chicken here.”  When it comes to getting stuck with a needle, I’m a devout coward.

How much more, then, did it take for our Lord to go to the Cross?  Please remember that Jesus is “Son of Man” -- entirely human, just as you and I.  He felt the agony of anticipation (remember the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane?) of what would happen.  He asked for a way out.  He felt the fear in much greater measure than I do.  But through it all He said, “Not my will, but yours” to His Father.  He overcame the terror of the Garden to face the pain of Calvary.

All this He did for us.  His life was not taken from Him;  He gave it up freely that you and I might have life.  By the blood we live;  let us remember also the fear and the pain needed to bring that blood to us.

 

There is one last parallel.  When you try to give blood, they ask a long list of questions, most of which convince me that I’ve led a very dull life.  It’s largely a list of sexual sins -- and answering yes disqualifies you.  This is to protect the blood supply from disease.  One would not want a transfusion of AIDS.  The blood must be pure if it is to save a life.  To save all who will, only the perfect purity of the blood of Christ Himself would do.

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