Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On Sunday, October 6, Christians around the world will celebrate “World Communion Sunday.” This a day that began in 1933, with one Presbyterian church in New Jersey and has grown into a worldwide movement, celebrated on the first Sunday of October. At St. Paul’s, we celebrate
communion every Sunday, so worship might not even feel any different. But churches that don’t have weekly communion try to have it on this day, so that the entire body of Christ, across the globe and across denominations, might celebrate communion together.
It’s a great day to think about our links to one another. Faith is not an individual enterprise. Being a Christian means being part of something bigger than yourself—being part of a community. Every time we celebrate communion, it is honestly world communion Sunday. During the communion preface each week, I say the words: “And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and all the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn.”
With the church on earth and all the hosts of heaven is a poetic way of saying that in this holy meal we are joined to all people of faith, living and dead. We are united at God’s table with those near and far, with loved ones who are no longer with us, and with countless saints whose names
are known only to God. It truly is a foretaste of the day when all peoples shall feast with God on the holy mountain, together.
We are not in this alone. We live in such an individualistic society, sometimes this is hard to remember. We want to respect each other’s privacy and not be nosy, but that means that we sometimes miss seeing how we can support each other. We are part of a great communion, and
our own congregation makes up a small piece of that. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, we are called to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” The community of the church is here to support and uphold one another through difficult times and to celebrate with one another in good times.
I give thanks to God for this community of faith. I am thankful for the many ways that we take care of each other, and I am thankful that God continues to push us to see where we have fallen short in this. If you have a joy to celebrate or help and support that you need, that is one of the things the church is here for. You are not alone. None of us is, because we are all one in Christ.