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Communion 2011

Pandora's Box

Originally scheduled for June 26

Those who are educated in an older generation will be familiar with Greek mythology. This has largely disappeared from our school systems, which is unfortunate. The tales of the ancient Greeks have much to teach us in the matters of right and wrong in the ways of this world.

One such tale is that of Pandora's box. The English language phrase, "opened Pandora's box", is a common place phrase. The story behind it is rather interesting. Pandora, in Greek mythology, was the first human woman — something of a parallel to Eve in Genesis. She was given a box by Zeus and told never to open it. She opened it. Out of that sprang all the evils of the world. That much most people know. But there is one fact that you may not be acquainted with. As Robert Heinlein said, "the last thing to come fluttering out of Pandora's box was hope, without which men die."

The parallel in Christianity is quite clear. In the garden of Eden sin first spring forth with all the resulting evils. The Christian lives in a world full of such evils, but along with faith and love, hope endures. For what does the Christian hope?

·        The Christian hopes for the return of Jesus Christ.

·        At that return, the Christian hopes for the resurrection of the dead.

·        Following that return the Christian hopes for eternal life.

All these things are promised by Christ — and all these things are verified by the cross and Christ's resurrection from the grave. The matter is certain; the timing is not.

Hope: that without which men die — eternally. The communion we celebrate is the marker of that hope. Those who live in that hope shall live eternally; all others shall die. Therefore, as you partake in communion today, partake in hope. The Lord has promised to his return, and his word is unbreakable. We do not know when he will return, but until he comes we are to remember the sacrifice which made our hope certain — the cross.

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