“The concept spread very slowly at the start. People did not give it a whole lot of thought. It was during the Second World War that the spirit caught hold, because we were trying to hold the world together. World Wide Communion symbolized the effort to hold things together, in a spiritual sense. It emphasized that we are one in the Spirit and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In 2018, I believe the world is still in need of this unity. We still need to work to be one in the Spirit and in Christ. There is much in the world that attempts to divide us.
-We are divided politically. This division encourages us view the world in terms of “us or them.” World Communion reminds us that there is no “us or them,” there is only us.
-We are divided geographically. This division makes it hard to understand people who do not share the same customs we have. World Communion reminds us that we are all children of God regardless of our unique customs and traditions.
-We are divided by what sports team we root for. Actually, this category is legitimate. GO SEAHAWKS!
For all that divides us, World Communion is an opportunity to remember that Jesus is Lord of all. In Christ we are one. Paul makes this exceedingly clear in his letter to the church in Ephesus:
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” -Ephesians 4:1-5
World Communion Sunday reminds us to pray for the areas of our world that are divided. Our prayers then encourage us to work for unity “in the bond of peace” whenever it is possible. This is not an easy teaching in the Bible. It is a lot easier to put each other in camps and allow our divisions to define us.
In honor of World Communion Sunday, let’s try to be different. May we recognize God’s lordship over us all as we work toward oneness in our world.
See you on Sunday!