Originally scheduled for September 17
It was his first day on his new assignment, in San Francisco.
Between the subway station and his office there was one street
corner. On that corner, as often happens in San Francisco, there was
a beggar. Just looking at the beggar he could tell that the man was
blind; his cardboard sign said that he was a Marine who had fought
at Da Nang; now he was begging for money for food. Our businessman
averted his eyes and hurried on into the office.
That night, in
his hotel room, our businessman went to prayer. He must’ve felt
guilty about the beggar because he offered his excuse to God. He
ended his plea with, “after all, I can’t solve world hunger.” The
Almighty replied, in an angry voice, “I didn’t ask you to solve
world hunger. I asked you to feed one of my Marines.”
All the ways of a man are clean in his own
sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.
(Proverbs 16:2 NASB)
How often we think that our excuses cause our sins of omission
to be pardoned automatically! We imagine that because we have some
rationale for failing to do what we know we should do but God smiles
and tells us that he understands. It is a common failing of sinners
— and each of us is a sinner.
We are taught to examine
ourselves at communion. As you prepare to take of the body and blood
of Christ, look into your heart. Know that God already looks into it
and sees everything. If there is something you know you should be
doing, bring it before God and ask his forgiveness. Abandon your
excuses and do what is right. Make the commitment to do that before
you take communion.
Then, with clean hands, take the bread
which represents the body of Christ. Take the cup that represents
his blood. Remember this sacrifice that makes it possible for God to
forgive you — and count you among those who feed his Marines.