Dear Rose Park,
This coming Sunday we’ll celebrate Worldwide Communion Sunday. Communion typically happens in our community on the first Sunday of even numbered months. For some Reformed churches this still happens quarterly and for others it occurs every month. Communion Sunday’s are some of my favorite worship services, especially when the entire global Church is also joining us around God’s table; it’s a beautiful time together where we gather in remembrance, communion, and hope.
For some of us coming from different denominational backgrounds, communion might be celebrated a bit differently than what we’re used to. We might not be able to put a term or label on how we view communion and that’s understandable, but there are various lenses or models with which we can view the Lord’s Supper. For example, there are models called the “Cosmic Mass”, the “Paschal Mystery”, and the “Sacramental Sacrifice.” However, I find the model entitled the “Church’s Eucharist” to be particularly helpful in the way we view the Lord’s Supper as it nourishes and feeds us all.
In the most simplest terms, by breaking the bread and sharing the cup we remember and recognize that Christ died for us all – the unified body of Christ. Even though we are given individual pieces of bread and individual cups of juice we recognize these come from one source. Even though thousands of traditions and denominations will be celebrating communion this Sunday, we all center around the throne of Christ. The bread and cup come from one source: Jesus.
Communion isn’t just for the individual, the specific church, or even a specific denomination – the bread and cup were given by Christ to us so that we might join together in community to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. This is all to say, we’re in this together. When we gather around the Table and hear the words “do this in remembrance of me” we join with sisters and brothers in Christ throughout all time and place to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God.
I look forward to seeing you there. I look forward to reciting the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and inviting you to the Table of Grace. And I look forward to speaking the words of institution and seeing your eyes gaze toward the bread and cup, because this isn’t just for us, it’s for all of us.
Grace & Peace,