September 29, 2023
“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world…I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.”
John 17:18, 20-21a
The first Sunday in October is celebrated as World Communion Sunday all throughout the world. We celebrate the ties that bind us to one another, as Christians, even in the face of our many differences. When we do so, we live into the prayer Jesus offered for his disciples and for those of us who would learn from them, throughout the many generations: “that they may all be one.”
We know a bit about that as a Union Church, don’t we? Unity in Christ across denomination, belief, or background is one of our highest values; it is the foundation for the wide welcome this church has offered for nearly 120 years. There is no test of faith in order to be welcomed to the table in our church, this or any Sunday.
There is certainly difficulty in unity, as well. As someone whose call to ministry would not be affirmed in the majority of churches that join us in celebrating World Communion (as a woman who is married to a woman), I certainly struggle to offer Jesus’ prayer for unity at times. And yet, I believe that the powerful goodness of God’s grace and mercy found at the communion table is far greater than any division humans have managed to create. This deep knowledge of God’s abiding love is part of the gift and witness we have to share.
As we taste God’s goodness around the table this week, we will remember our Christian siblings throughout the world and throughout time, remember what connects us to one another, and pray, as Jesus did, that we may all be one.
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