Originally scheduled for October 2
It is a convention in the English language to call someone
who is a villain, the bad guy, a “black hat.” The expression
originates from the fact that until 1932, virtually all films were
shot in black and white. Western motion pictures typically didn’t
have a very large budget, but needed something cheap to distinguish
the good guys from the bad guys. White hats showed up much better in
film than black hats, and it became a convention that the good guys
got the white hats, and the bad guys got the black ones. This
persisted until the introduction of Technicolor in 1932, and even
after that it was common for the good guy to wear a white hat. It
has passed into our language as a way of referring to people who are
on the wrong side — at least by your own definition. It is quite an
The Western movie genre has a stock character for the black
The man (have you ever noticed that it’s almost always a man?) goes
around with a constant sneer — he is very irritating.
At some point in the film he will “kick the dog.” That is, he will
perform some petty, vicious act to establish his evil character.
That’s important. It’s the filmmaker’s way of letting you know that
this man is not just someone with a grouchy disposition, but is
genuinely evil. He’s not a fallen sinner; and that’s a feature, not
The only way to deal with such a man is to shoot him. He must be
shot in the prescribed manner, by a “white hat” in a gunfight in the
main street in town, accompanied by thrilling music.
This makes for a good motion picture. It’s not a very
realistic picture of human beings, however. It’s a realistic picture
of what we imagine other human beings to be. May I submit to you
that the Christian approach to the black hat is exemplified in
Communion proclaims God’s grace for one and all. There is no one so
evil that the only way to deal with them is to shoot him. Indeed, we
are told that God’s will is that none would perish but all would
receive his grace.
Communion is not a cheap, throwaway ritual. It is something which
cost Jesus Christ is very life, and therefore is quite expensive. It
is God’s extravagance that provides us with his loving grace. God
paid for it; he gives it to whosoever will.
Communion is a recurring approach to the sinful nature of man —
whatever color of hat he wears. In it we are reminded to examine
ourselves, repent and then partake.
Communion — black hats welcome