World Communion Sunday

body and blood

(Image: "Body and blood" by nkzs )

     Sunday, October 7, 2012 was this year’s annual celebration of World Communion Sunday.  This day is honored by churches around the world by participating in communion together.  Some churches change up the method they normally use in serving, and many use breads from cultures other than their own.  Some communities have interdenominational services, bringing multiple congregations together to show the unity of the church.

     Communion is one of the things that was a trademark of believers in the early church, in some ways even more so than baptism.  Unfortunately, this practice has become a divisive thing in the church.  Does the bread and wine actually become the body of Christ, or is it merely symbolic?  For that matter, should it be wine, or is grape juice more correct and proper?  Should it be celebrated every Sunday, once a month, or once a quarter?  I sporadically attended a church during junior high that I never once saw take communion.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt; maybe I missed communion Sundays, but I imagine there are churches out there that do not celebrate it at all.

     For now, I am going to set aside all those divisive issues, except for those who don’t celebrate it at all.  We might want to argue about frequency, but it is clear that it is something we should be doing.

     What stands out to me most when I think about communion is the face that the church has been participating in it since the church began.  Despite the disagreements that surround it, each week, the church gathers and participates in this memorial service together, remembering what was done for us.  We join with those who for two thousand years have done the same thing, week after week, month after month, year after year.

     Obviously, the main part of communion was not unity, as the whole of Christianity should be about unity in truth.  The main point of communion is about remembering the gruesome death of our Savior on the cross, and I don’t want to take away from that first and most important meaning.  But when division has so taken over in the church of Christ, I am glad for every bit of unity we can achieve.

     Don’t wait until next year’s World Communion Sunday to commemorate the death of our Lord or the unity of the church.  The next time you take communion, spend a little time thinking on what was accomplished on the cross and also consider all those that have come before, all those who are taking with you across the globe, and those that will come after.

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