By Jon Wren
Several years ago, an independent study conducted by a British research firm determined that the most efficient organization in the world was the United State Postal Service. The study found that on average, a typical Postal Service employee handles more than 268,000 pieces of a mail a year. That total amounts to almost 765 packages and letters every day!
Yet despite its legendary efficiency, the typical post office still doesn’t deliver all of the mail on time . . . or sometimes at all! A 2018 report found that only 93.8 percent of all first-class mail was delivered within two days (for two-day service) and only 82.5 percent of all first-class mail was delivered within five days (for three- to five-day service). That means a typical postal worker handles 268,000 pieces of mail a year, but on average, more than 46,000 of the letters or packages he or she handles were lost or delivered late. Even with all of the resources and support of the U.S. government, there is no way the Postal Service can guarantee 100 percent delivery.
Something similar takes place with the condition of our soul. On our own, we are totally incapable of living a life close to being good enough. We cannot try harder, plan more strategically, or allocate more resources to become righteous and overcome our sin and selfishness. This is why the practice of Communion is vital.
It’s easy to remember God’s grace in times of struggle and pain—because in those moments we are acutely aware of our shortcomings. It is much harder, however, to have the same perspective when we feel successful and secure—when we think we are operating at a high level of righteous “efficiency.”
In those moments, the practice of Communion is not only helpful, but absolutely necessary. Communion reminds us that Christ alone can make us righteous. The apostle put it this way: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
May we always remember that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the only way.
Jon Wren works with the Office of Civil Rights, addressing the impact of gentrification on school desegregation. He loves history and college football, and he once got a ticket for driving too slow.