“God so loved the world that he have his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NRSV)
This Sunday is World Communion Sunday when Christian churches around the world all celebrate Holy Communion or as some say “the Eucharist.” It’s a time when we celebrate as one church in the world in spite of our divisions and different theologies or ways of worshiping. The Sacrament of Communion draws us together in Christ.
How I long for that to be the case all the time! I think it’s wonderful for so many opportunities to worship in a style that “fits” and in a congregation that seems to be a good church “family.” What I don’t understand is the judgmental attitudes we have toward each other when we choose to have a different understanding of what worship is or how we approach our faith journeys.
Debates have raged since the early church, so this is nothing new! Unfortunately, we don’t find a lot of tolerance or acceptance of our unity in spite of our differences, whether the church is mainline or not. My mother always used to ask, “Why can’t we just all get along?” I guess I would ask the same. We all worship the same Triune God!
I celebrate World Communion Sunday and I celebrate the church of Jesus Christ in the world. May we focus on working together to stand up the evil and injustice we see in our world. If the churches who believe in Jesus would speak out and really live out the teachings of Jesus in the world – all of them (remember – the Church is the people not a building!), I wonder what kind of transformation would take place?
It would be interesting to see! It takes time and practice, but we can counter the negatives with positives and stop “bashing” other Christians who don’t believe the way we do. Instead, let us work at respect, honor, and caring about others in spite of our difference – no, wait – maybe WITH our differences. Think of what we can learn from each other. Think of what a difference we would make in the world! Let’s at least try!