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Communion 2011

Hollow Man

Originally scheduled for May 8

Have you ever noticed that the military likes to recruit using slogans which ask if you have what it takes? American business is much the same way. They're always looking for people who have what it takes to become a high-ranking executive, a dynamic manager and leader of people. Most major corporations have programs which specifically look for such individuals. Have you ever seriously looked at one of these people? It's a disturbing life:

·        Such a man is always "on.” He is an actor, constantly on stage.

·        In the saddest sense, he is a "company man." The company owns him.

·        The longer he is such a man, the more he becomes what we call an "empty suit." He is hollow.

How does a man get that way? It's not something that happens instantly. But it is something that happens from the inside out. To rise up the corporate ladder, he accepts the values and ethics of his corporation. The Christian knows what those are. Those values hold things like money is the most important thing; power is extremely important; and prestige is more important than life itself. It's like a diet. If you want to lose weight, you have to change what you eat. If you want to become the corporate man, you have to change what you eat — spiritually.

Perhaps that is why Christ, introducing us to the Lord's Supper, said that this is his body, this is his blood. Various Christian denominations dispute what this means in the physical sense, and dispute it vigorously. But there is little difference in the views of what it means spiritually. Spiritually, you take in Christ. That may seem hard to understand; but let's look at it in the light of one of the other things he said: "I am the way, the truth and the life."

·        He is the way. To accept this means that you follow him and his teachings, studying his words and make them your own. It means you put them into practice.

·        He is the truth. In our day, when truth seems to have become as firm as gelatin, he is still the rock. What he tells us is true, and we should live by it.

·        He is the life. Without him there is no living, no real living. Ultimately, at his return, we find that there are those who live with him and those who experience the second death.

So it comes down to this: which kind of man do you want to be? Do you want to be the man who is hollowed out by the world, or the man who is enriched from within by the living Christ? You proclaim an answer to that every time you take communion; does that answer reflect the real you?

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