This Sunday, I will be preaching. According to the liturgical calendar, this Sunday is designated as World Communion Sunday. However, every Sunday, every time we take Communion, we do so asking God “By your Spirit make us ONE with Christ, ONE with one another, and ONE in ministry to ALL the world….”; therefore, every Sunday, we celebrate our unity – we celebrate world Communion. With that in mind, how are we doing? How united are we? When we hear about people who are starving, who live in poverty, who face the threat of violence everyday most of us probably feel sympathy for them. Given that oneness means the unity of thought, feeling, belief, and aim, just how close to oneness are we with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering?
While Communion is symbolized in the bread and cup we understand that Communion means so much more than just food to eat. Food is used throughout the Bible as a metaphor for many different things including sacrifice, sin, faith, life, personal character, wealth, community and the list goes on… As followers of Christ gathered in Jesus’ name, when we share in Communion by breaking the bread and sharing of the cup we do so as a means of remembering Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and of encountering the living Christ. We have the opportunity to experience afresh the presence of our risen Lord and receive sustenance for our lives as disciples.
Just like Communion means so much more than just bread to eat and juice to drink the sin of gluttony means so much more than just eating and drinking too much. Gluttony is about greed and excessive indulgence – it is about the over abundance of the glutton and the poverty of the neighbor. A sinful lack of oneness?
Therefore, on this World Communion Sunday – just how united in Christ are we? Are we striving to be ONE with Christ, ONE with one another, and ONE in ministry to ALL the world? Is there a fear of what we might have to give up or share in order to be one? Maybe the bigger question is do we really want to be ONE?
I look forward to worshiping God with you this Sunday beginning at 7:30 a.m. in Wesley Hall with breakfast, at 8:30 a.m. in the Chapel and then 9:30 a.m. for prayer and discussion in the Foundation building!
Various Scripture texts to discern….
16 If you find honey, eat just the right amount; otherwise, you’ll get full and vomit it up.
18 They tested God in their hearts, demanded food for their stomachs.
19 “There was a certain rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and who feasted luxuriously every day. 20 At his gate lay a certain poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores.
22 “The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 While being tormented in the place of the dead, he looked up and saw Abraham at a distance with Lazarus at his side. 24 He shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I’m suffering in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received good things, whereas Lazarus received terrible things. Now Lazarus is being comforted and you are in great pain. 26 Moreover, a great crevasse has been fixed between us and you. Those who wish to cross over from here to you cannot. Neither can anyone cross from there to us.’
27 “The rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, Father, send Lazarus to my father’s house. 28 I have five brothers. He needs to warn them so that they don’t come to this place of agony.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. They must listen to them.’ 30 The rich man said, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.’ 31 Abraham said, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!
Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat!
Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk!
Why spend money for what isn’t food,
and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest of feasts.