Several years ago, I had to opportunity to visit the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As I wandered the beautiful grounds, I saw groups of other pilgrims scattered around and when I stood still and listened, I could hear them praying and speaking and serving Communion to one another in many different languages.
I heard an Italian group on my right, and a Korean group on my left. Across the courtyard, there was a group of Japanese Christians and other groups from Greece and Germany and France and Turkey. It overwhelmed me to witness the global message of the gospel. This Sunday we will celebrate the global message of the gospel of Christ as we came to his table. His table, which is not American or Russian or Chinese or African, but a world-wide table brought together by our love of Jesus and our covenant of faithfulness to the gospel.
When we say we are one body in Christ, we are diverse. And our tables are diverse. Some Christians celebrate around a modern glass table in an enormous sanctuary in Korea, some take the bread and the juice around a wobbly wooden table in a remote village in Africa. High churches and casual churches. Young and old. Male and female. Well-fed and hungry. All come as one body, brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord on this day.
World Communion Sunday makes us part of the world-wide churches’ celebration of the body and blood of Christ given out of love for each of us as individuals, as congregations, as one body in Christ. At our table, you will be asked to come to the altar to kneel if you are able – or stand if you are not – to receive the bread and the cup. You are asked to come whenever you are ready – there will be no coming by rows. Come as a family, come alone. Come with a friend or walk down with someone whose name you do not know. However you choose to come, recognize that you join with millions and millions of Christians this day in taking the bread and the cup in remembrance of Jesus’ love for us and in unity with all Christians who seek to be the peacemakers in this world.