The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

1 Corinthians 10: 16, 17

 

Regardless of how you might view the actual elements of the sacrament that is often known as communion, there is one singular truth about this aspect of the Christian life. Sharing in this activity should be a point of deep connection with Christ, and it should also be a time when His body is brought closer together across the totality of its spectrum of existence and expression. When we drink from the cup and eat the bread, we are doing something that is far greater than just consuming a bit of food. In fact, the food that we do consume at these times has absolutely nothing to do with feeding the body, for it is fully focused upon feeding the soul.

 

This moment in the flow of the liturgy of our worship can be the most unifying one in all that we do, for this is the singular time when all of the people gathered together focus upon one aspect of our faith together. When we eat the bread that is presented to us, we are called into the fullness of the new spiritually-bound body of faith that is formed around the presence of Christ in us and within our assemblies. As we take in the contents of the cup we are taken back into God’s promise of redemption and then into the fulfillment of that promise in Jesus. In sharing the blessings of the harvest together we are reminded of the unceasing provision that God has granted to us. As we do this we are also taken back into the ancient tradition of thanksgiving to God that was practiced by our Jewish forebears, for in Christ, we find our commonality with all of God’s people over the entirety of history.

 

The communion table, in its many forms and modalities of practice, is a place where people who know Christ can come together. It should never be a place of division or create a sort of litmus test of true faith or orthodoxy. If a person knows Christ, that person is an equal and a coheir in the eyes of God; so, nothing that is devised by human thought or rule should work to separate us from each other around this table of blessing. Christ came into this world to bring the many who were far apart from God into His presence in this life and into eternity. In so doing, He also destroyed all of the barriers that people had constructed that keep us apart from each other. Let us enter in together into the sacred act of remembrance that is found in taking in these simple foods so that our souls will be well fed on the beautiful diversity of Christ’s body and our minds will be strengthened in the unity of His Spirit.

 

 

Jesus said, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them as you loved me.”

John 17: 23

 

During these final moments before He was arrested, Jesus was praying to the Father; yet, as He prayed in this very intensely emotional and extraordinarily personal time, He talked to God about His followers. Jesus was highly focused on talking through the details of the continuing relationships that His faith family would have with the Father and with Himself. Jesus wanted it to be completely clear to us that He would never leave us. For those present then, the form of the holy presence would change as He would come in the form of Holy Spirit to be our continual companion. Christ was also making it very clear that just as the Father is in Him that He is in us. Therefore, we are united with God, and all of the people of the world who know Christ are of one family, united in faith and in spirit.

 

The world should be able to look at Christians everywhere and see God. The world should be able to listen to our speech and hear God’s voice. We won’t speak the same languages, we don’t say things in the same manner, and there will be differing viewpoints on many issues. However, when it comes to the desire to live so that everyone who comes into contact with us comes into contact with the love and the truth of Christ; then, we should look like the largest group of identical siblings in history. Christ desires that everyone who calls Him Lord and Savior would be living as an expression of the love that has saved us from an eternity of separation from God.

 

Jesus is very clear in His desire regarding how He wants us to live, for He wants all of us to walk in the unity of His love and to experience the strength that comes from being united together through the Holy Spirit with Christ and with the Father. Jesus wants his entire faith family to stand unified in God’s love for us. He also desires for us to move out of our comfortable walls of sacred expression so that we can take our super natural unity into the world to demonstrate that Christ is the answer to all of the barriers that people establish between themselves and with God. When this happens, we glorify Christ and demonstrate His saving love to the world.