Teapots and Tommy Guns
Originally scheduled for October 1
Perhaps you have never met one, but there are
people in this world who collect teapots. There is a surprisingly
wide variety of teapots, not all of which would actually make a good
cup of tea. But collectors of teapots have a number of things in
They seek out the rare and beautiful
among the teapots. Some of the rare ones are things that look like
log cabins; the beautiful teapots often look to be elegant
compositions of roses. The ordinary teapot usually doesn’t find a
place in the collection — though it may find a place in the sink.
Teapots are carefully stored and
cared for. They are not kept lying around in whatever odd corner,
but if not on display are carefully boxed and kept in boxes to
They inevitably become a frequent
(and sometimes obnoxious) topic of conversation. When you spend that
much time on teapots, they tend to occupy your conversation.
There are also people out there who collect
Tommy guns. Firearm collectors share a number of things in common
with teapot collectors. One of the things that is a little bit
different is that collecting Tommy guns requires a federal license —
an expensive federal license. In addition there are boatloads of
regulations concerning what can and cannot be done with firearms
collected under such license. But one thing the teapots in the Tommy
guns have in common: they are usually on display. If you have a
prize specimen, it is placed in a location where everyone can look
at it. Some collectors even go to the point of building in special
lighting to show off their collection. Real collectors display their
Why do we display our collections? This is
very much a part of human behavior. Whether it’s teapots or Tommy
guns, we display things which are a part of us. Those who collect
Tommy guns are often military men, and some of the weapons will have
personal connections. Teapot collectors tend to be those who
appreciate beauty. We’re showing off a part of us.
It’s also perfectly normal for any collector
to be completely enthusiastic about his collection. Often enough the
obtaining of a rare specimen is something to brag about — and we do.
More than that, it makes as part of a special
group. Nothing so pleases the Tommy gun collector as a group of
firearms enthusiasts looking at his collection. I suspect the teapot
owners feel the same way about teapots. It makes us part of a
special group, and we are proud of that.
Perhaps you haven’t thought of it this way,
but in communion we display the body and blood of Christ. We say to
one and all who see it that this is an important part of us. It is
essential to our character that we recognize the sacrifice made for
us on Calvary. We take the time and trouble to go to a specific
place at a specific time to do this, which would tell anyone that we
must really want to do it. But the biggest reason we do it is that
it unites us as the church. We are like those collectors: we are
enthused to be a part of a special group.
So, as you take communion today, consider
that you are displaying to the world your love for Jesus Christ.
It’s something you want to talk about. It’s something that makes you
part of a special group — the church. And like our teapot
collections it’s something we want to share.