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Communion 2010

From the Czar

Originally scheduled for October 31

It was a church full of immigrants. Most of them had come from Eastern Europe, and many of them were quite elderly. My friend was the treasurer of this church and he told me of an unusual happening. It seems that for many years one of the parishioners was in the habit of putting into the offering plate a single gold coin. The coin was originally from Russia, and dated to the time of the czars. He would collect these every now and then, and take them to a coin dealer to sell. It was a puzzle to him just who would do such a thing.

The puzzle became clear one day. The priest at the church received a phone call from an apartment manager. It seems that one of the parishioners of the church, who lived in that apartment, had been discovered dead of natural causes. The apartment manager asked the church if they would be kind enough to clean up the apartment, and of course use anything of value within it for the purposes of the church. One of the staff supervised the effort — and that's when my friend got his phone call. They were a little vague, but they were quite certain they needed him to assist.

The reason was simple enough: they had found the man with the gold coins. Lots of gold coins. bags and bags of gold coins. Pounds and pounds of gold coins. His little bed was completely stuffed underneath with bags of gold, Russian coins. He was in fact a wealthy man. You'd never have known it looking at his apartment.

The question, of course, was why he lived like that he had so much in the way of gold? The answer it seems was rather simple: he appear they believe the coins were worthless because the Communists had taken over in Russia; the czars were gone. To him, this would be like so much Confederate money. It never occurred to him that the coins would have value because they were gold or because they were rare. He did not know how rich he was — and died in that ignorance.

Some Christians have the same ignorance. They come to communion each week thinking themselves the victims of spiritual poverty. They see themselves as just another face in the crowd, just another person looking for the solution to life. Communion to them is just a ritual; something you do because you belong to a particular church. But consider: in your hands today you will hold the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest gift ever given to man. It is the gift of salvation and eternal life. It comes from the greatest giver, God Almighty himself. There is nothing of poverty about it.

Many of us wish we had a rich uncle to inherit from. What we have is even better; we have a Father who loves us. He has blessed us with the greatest gift that any human being could receive — the life of his Son to pay for our sins. He asks that we remember this gift.

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