THE SACRED MEAL: “What’s it all about?”

Every Sunday, without fail, as we gather in our sanctuary for worship, we can be absolutely sure that at least one thing is going to happen: Communion! It’s the center of our service, and the capstone of our worship with God. It’s the most sacred part of any Disciples of Christ service … and the Communion Table is in the center of the Chancel in virtually every DOC church that exists.  But sometimes rituals that are so important and repetitive can become routine. But this is for sure: there should be nothing routine about our Communion meal with Jesus. So, it’s fair to ask every now and then: What’s it all about, anyway? James Duke, author of “The Nature of the Church” written for the Disciples of Christ, explains that “The Lord’s Supper” allows us to be “made participants in the very life, the body and blood, of Christ and share in his presence.” Thus, Duke says that every time we take the meal, “we are in Communion with our Lord, with one another, and with all who are in Christ.” When we come to The Table of the Lord, he claims, we not only testify to our oneness in Christ, but we discover it all over again. It brings to reality the life in Christ each one of us shares.  I like to think of Communion as God’s greatest gift to the church. And even though we do not own it, because it is so precious to God, we are all called to be stewards of it … which means that whenever we come to the Table, we should partake of the body and blood of Jesus in the sacred way they are meant to be shared.  St. Augustine, the iconic Bishop of Hippo from the 4th century, included this invitation to Communion in one of his sermons to his congregation: “Be what you see; receive what you are!” Author Derek Olsen tells us that Augustine’s words to those gathered that day invites each of them to personally enact Christ’s victory of life and love. You see, it’s a progression of faith we are all called to: first, receive the bread and the cup; then, become the church (the body of Christ in the world today); and finally, be the consecrated faithful followers of Jesus – the disciples!  In a sense, we come to “church” on Sunday to be the “Church” – the Body of Christ – in the world. We come to the Table to be fed with the required “food” that enables us to do just that – the body and the blood of Jesus. When we are fed, and filled, with Christ himself, then we can actually become Christ-like ourselves … and truly become the disciples He needs to do His work in the world today.  So come … come to the Table … and be all that God created you to be.

I’ll meet you at the Table <>< Pastor Bob