Originally scheduled for January
For most of
us, the name Willie Sutton does not ring any immediate alarms. He
died back in 1980, so it is no surprise that he is not featured on
current TV programs. Mr. Sutton, also known as Slick Willie, was a
financial withdrawal specialist. For those of you who are not
familiar with politically correct language, that means a bank
robber. By whatever technical, ethical and professional standards
that profession might happen to boast, Willie was a pretty good bank
robber. He robbed over 200 banks, collecting over $4 million. Though
he toted a Thompson submachine gun, no one was ever injured in any
of his bank robberies. An enterprising soul, he escaped from prison
three different times. His bank robberies were masterpieces of
disguise and deception.
probably be unknown today except for a quotation which is attributed
to him. Supposedly, some reporter asked him why he robbed all those
banks. His answer, according to legend, is “because that’s where the
money is.” In his autobiography Willie specifically denies ever
having said it, and speculates that some reporter on a deadline just
made it up. Whether he said it or not, he should have. It’s the kind
of thing somebody named Slick Willie would say.
somewhat of a similar response on occasion. If you will recall, his
troubles with the Pharisees centered around two things:
He claimed to be the son of God.
He partied hearty with all of the sinners, lowlifes, drunkards and
prostitutes he could find.
with the second accusation, Christ gave an explanation very similar
to what Willie might have. He said (Luke 19:10) that he had come to
seek and save the lost — and at the moment, the lost were partying
with him. If you want to seek the sinners, you have to go to the
seems trivial to you. But it has a great importance. Christ did not
come to make perfect those who are righteous. He came to seek and
save the lost; that’s his mission statement. If you want to know
whether or not someone is successful, you have to know what he was
trying to do. That’s what He was trying to do.
accomplished this at the Cross. He established communion for us so
that we might remember this fact. That fact includes the idea that
he came for the lost. Communion is not just for those who have lived
a perfectly righteous life, whoever those people might be. Communion
is for those of us who are sinners. When we take the cup and the
loaf, we see the blood and body of Christ, sacrificed for us. He
sacrificed himself for the least, and the lost. And that includes
all of us.
So may I ask
you: as you partake today, be grateful. He came for you,
specifically. He did not ask you to become righteous before you
could participate; he made you righteous by his sacrifice. He asks
you to participate today to remember what He has done for you.