Originally scheduled for April 23
The dog’s name is Ruth. She barks almost all the time.
is not surprising, really. Ruth is a “rescue” dog. She was retrieved
from the pound by a young couple who wanted a dog. She is now
undergoing the transition from a dog in the pound to a dog in the
family. It’s not surprising this takes a little while. What is it
that Ruth really wants?
She wants to belong to her own pack, in this case a pack full of
humans. But she wants to feel like she’s part of the group.
More than that, she wants to feel that she has a position in that
group — a standing, a role that she plays that is hers alone.
Most of all, she wants to be loved. That scratch under the chin or
behind the ears means a great deal to her.
Isn’t that the case
with most human beings too? Particularly when our ego is been
damaged, or someone is let us down — or we’ve done something really
stupid — we want those same things. We want to know that we belong
somewhere and are not just isolated human beings bouncing around the
More than that, we don’t want to just belong — we want
to fit in. We like the idea that we have a place in the group and
they need us as we need them.
Finally, like all human beings, we
need to know that we are loved. Human beings were designed to be
loved and they feel it acutely when they are not.
shows us how Christ answers these needs. You and I belong to one of
the greatest organizations ever created: the church. Those who take
Christ as Lord and Savior are automatically part of this
organization. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, the church takes
particular care to make sure the newcomers are welcome. As you grow
in the church you will find that the Holy Spirit is the place for
you to serve. It’s yours, and it helps define you in the group known
as the church. That may be something as simple as teaching
four-year-olds or something that is viewed as more difficult, like
missionary work. But it is your task; a place to serve.
of course is rooted in the love of Christ. There is no greater love
than to lay down your life for a friend, and Christ laid down his
life for us that we might know salvation. So as you partake this
morning, remember that the cup, his blood, and the bread, his body,
are the signs of his great love for you for all of us. Take it; take
it seriously; take it with the church that loves you.