September seems to have flown by and here we are on the brink of October already! In the Christian church that means that this Sunday we’ll celebrate World Communion Sunday.
World Communion Sunday is one of the most venerable of the “special Sundays” in the Christian church. It has taken on even more relevancy and depth of meaning in a world that is divided into countries, but even more so, divided by inequalities in so many areas of human life.
One way that countries have been categorized is by being labeled Developed, Developing, or Least Developed. “Developing Countries tend to have some characteristics in common, often due to their histories or geographies. They commonly have such problems as: low levels of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; energy poverty: high levels of pollution, high levels of poverty and disease, poor infrastructure, high crime rates, low education levels, government corruption, political instability, inadequate access to family planning services, etc.
Developed Countries, of course, are not without their own problems. Even though citizens of those countries may have better opportunities for having their basic needs met, there are plenty of things to prevent them from having a peaceful, worry-free life, The ever-evolving Covid virus, the effects of global warming, racism, and terrorism to name a few. But on World Communion Sunday we celebrate our oneness in Christ, the Prince of Peace, in the midst of the whole world we are called to serve—a world desperately in need of the lived-out love of Christ.
This year of 2023 marks the 87 th year for World Communion Sunday, which was originally called Worldwide Communion Sunday and originated in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. It began in the winter of 1935 when a group of ministers met to study the spiritual needs and possibilities of the church in the midst of the Great Depression. They called for a Worldwide Communion Sunday the following year on the First Sunday of November, close to “Armistice Day” which celebrated the end of World War I. Their idea was that worldwide communion would supersede worldwide conflict, that the church would lead the way in ending violence between nations and bringing peace to all people. It was celebrated in 1936 for the first time and was eventually moved back to the first Sunday of October.
This is the day when we celebrate the worldwide unity of the church in the body and blood of Christ—One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, through all the years and in every place. Whether shared in a grand cathedral, a mud hut, out on a hilltop, in a meeting house, in a storefront, or at home in front of computer screens or on smart phones, Christians celebrate communion in as many ways as there are congregations.
And so, as we share in the sacrament of Holy Communion, we are called to expand our vision outside these walls to the wider world where our sisters and brothers taste the bread and the juice in other forms, in other places. We are called to remember the mandate that Christ has given his followers to love and to serve.
I pray that you’ll join our congregation on Sunday, whether in person in our beautiful Sanctuary or on Facebook, as we share the sacrament together.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's newsletter!