Originally scheduled for April 7
Just down the
street to the west of the Alamo there sits the Buckhorn Bar. The
place is legendary. In its early days it would accept as payment for
a drink various animal horns which were used to decorate the place.
To this day they still have one of the finest collection of animal
horns in the world. But the Buckhorn Bar is famous for something
In 1898 the door
swung open to reveal one Theodore Roosevelt — yes, the man who would
later be president of the United States. People turned around to
look, and Roosevelt opened up in his booming voice with, “I’m going
to Cuba! Who wants to come with me?” The Spanish-American war was
on, and this was the place where Teddy recruited about half of his
Rough Riders for that war. (The other half were recruited from Ivy
League colleges; you figure it out.)
It’s an appealing
story. You can imagine yourself sitting in the bar on a hot day with
a cold beer when someone walks in and offers you the adventure of a
lifetime. It was a grand moment. But Teddy didn’t offer this to just
anybody. He offered it to men who were prepared to do the job. Think
about it; they were cowboys. They knew how to ride a horse; they
knew how to shoot a pistol and a rifle; they were accustomed to
outdoor living in hardship. They were also patriotic, and saw a
chance to serve their country. These men were prepared for the
adventure. Note that they were ready for the call — but not
expecting it. Life happens like that sometimes.
We have a
parallel to that in the church: the call of Christ. Like the
cowboys, we can be ready but we don’t have any good reason to expect
it at any particular time. Think back to the time someone preached
the gospel to you. Your parents may have prepared you for the
occasion, but for most of us it came as a surprise on that
particular one day (see Romans 10:14.) A few of us have had the
calling of the blind man (Mark 10:49). But all of us will one day
experience the call as Christ sends out his angels to call the elect
of the church from all the corners of the world (Matthew 24:31.) We
cannot know the day. But we can be ready for it.
us prepare for the coming of Christ and the resurrection of the
dead. How is this done?
In communion we remember the atoning sacrifice that Christ made for
us so that we might have salvation. Thus we keep before us
constantly the central truth of Christian life.
As you take communion, you are to examine yourself. This is not an
academic exercise — no, you examine yourself to find what you should
change. If you’re doing something wrong, stop, turn around and do it
After your repentance it is essential that you continue in the
correct direction. You must be an example of righteousness — no
matter where you’ve been before.
this, you must take communion in a serious, sober manner. After all,
you never know whether or not this might be the last communion you
take just before Christ returns.