WORLD WIDE COMMUNION SUNDAY
Recently our minister reminded us in his sermon of the prayer that Jesus made for his disciples. On the night that he was betrayed Jesus prayed that all of his disciples, those present and those to come in the future, “may be one, as You, Father, are in me and I in you; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (John 17:21).
Jesus went on to give his disciples a symbol of their unity in Him, the Lord’s Supper. The apostle Paul realized that the Lord’s Supper symbolized unity and wrote to a badly divided church at Corinth these words: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:15-16). Yes, we have one Lord, one faith, one bread, and we are one body.
It is particularly appropriate that we should celebrate oneness today in the Lord’s Supper because this is World Wide Communion Sunday. All over the world today Christians and churches of every kind are participating in this symbol of unity. Let me share with you the words of one such participant. Here is a communion meditation by Mordicai Chikwanda of Zimbabwe’
When Jesus was with his disciples for a final meal, he said that one of them would betray him. He said it would be the one who dipped bread in his dish. The disciples began to question him, asking one after another, “Is it I?”
When we come and sit at the same table, there are essentials that we assume we have in common. Essentials like a belief in one Lord and one faith and one hope. These essentials form the basis of our fellowship. When I think of this kid of table, I cannot imagine that any division would exist there. I cannot imagine a betrayer being among us. Instead, my image of such a table is one where we all belong to each other, where we wish one another well, and where we genuinely value oneness.
I hope that the original disciples of Jesus had the same understanding. I believe that is why they became so upset when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him. Jesus was saying to that person that he was violating the meaning of the Table. The betrayer did not understand the essentials of oneness and so did not really understand the Table.
He concluded by saying: As we come together at the Lord’s Table, it is an expression of the unity that exists among us. Participation at the Table makes the unity come to life. And the oneness we share becomes real.*
As one body may we now join in the confession of our one faith.
*One Church. A Bicentennial Celebration of Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address. Glenn Thomas Carson, Douglas A Foster, & Clinton J Holloway, editors. Abilene; Leafwood, 2008. P 117.