Originally scheduled for February 17
Many years ago
there existed an institution in Los Angeles which was a favorite of
elementary school teachers — the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles.
One of the features that attracted the teacher so much was that this
museum solicited scrap material from various manufacturers in the
area. One prominent example was a series of colored discs, stamped
out of plastic. They were the discard plastic from the process of
making a hole in the sheet of plastic. The museum gave these to the
teachers must be very creative people. What you and I might see as
just a disc of plastic they saw as an element of an art project, a
mathematics lesson, or a science experiment. It is the nature of
creative thinking that it is Trinitarian. The teacher must first
have a very good idea in her head as to what she wants to do. If the
idea is no good, nothing good will come of it. Then, the material
she selects must provide a good incarnation of that great idea.
Finally, she must consider her audience. What is appropriate for
kindergarten students would not work for sixth grade students.
Creative art follows the pattern of a father idea, and incarnation,
and the work of getting the father idea across to those who receive
it. It parallels the Great Creator: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father
has given us his great creative idea. The father idea that he has
put forth is that he so loves this world, including the sinners,
that he is willing to make the greatest sacrifice to redeem those
sinners and bring them home. To put this in physical reality, he
spent thousands of years drilling into the heads of one particular
people just what kind of God he is — and then sent his son to die on
the cross. No greater love has any man than he give up his life for
his friends. Knowing that the work would not be complete unless we
accepted it, we have the function of the Holy Spirit to convict the
world of sin and judgment. It is God’s masterpiece.
Communion, in its
own way, follows that pattern too. There is a father idea: that you
and I will remember the sacrifice on the cross and the great love of
God that it shows. To do this the idea is incarnate in the ceremony
of communion. The cup reminds us of his blood; the bread of his
body. It is extremely simple and crosses all cultures. But like his
other great communications, there is the part that we must play as
well. When we do this we are to examine ourselves. If we find
something amiss, we are to repent. Communion is not complete without
our self-examination and repentance.
That means that
you and I are part of the picture God draws at communion. He has
given you his son; he asks that you give him that self-examination