Originally scheduled for
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
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.
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 —