Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Every Day Communion

This coming Sunday, October 2, is World Communion Sunday. For me, it is one of the holiest days in the life of the church, ranking behind only Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.

It is a day when we remember that we do not worship in isolation, even in particular churches, but we gather with Christians around the world, often reading the same scriptures in a Pentecostal chorus of tongues; we sing songs of praise and lament; we tell stories of our hopes, our dreams, our life in God. And we believe that God continues to work in, and for, and through us.

It is a day when we are reminded that there is a unity in Christ that can overcome every division we try to maintain; that there is a Body which welcomes, which affirms, which values each and every member; that there is a place where all people are accepted and loved.

For Presbyterians in the States, it is a day when we are reminded of our calling as peacemakers. We receive a special offering - specifically for Peacemaking. Our portion this year will go to support the work of the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland, enabling their work of reconciliation and hope in the midst of divisions and pain.

And as we gather around the Table this Sunday to celebrate God's feast, we will do so with folks whose families came to these shores a very, very long time ago. And we will break bread with folks who have come from Ghana, Cameroon, Germany, and other places. Visible reminders of that day when all of God's people will gather around the Table in the Kingdom and feast together on God's grace and love.

And today, just down the hall from my office, folks from Mexico, from Peru, and from India are sitting around tables with church volunteers, working together to improve the English skills of our newest neighbors.

A visible reminder that 'worldwide communion' doesn't happen just once a year, but every day of our lives.

Thanks be to God!

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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