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October Monthly Newsletter World Communion by Jason Edwards

Christians across the globe celebrate this every year on the first Sunday in October. Whether in our sanctuary or with others in downtown Liberty, our celebration has largely been contained by morning worship as we receive symbols of Christ’s body and blood from the Lord’s table. This is good, though this year I’m wondering if this Sunday might serve as an October call to action, one shaped by the meanings of World Communion.

Communion in our context is first and foremost Eucharist. When you hear this word, you may simply think of it as another Christian tradition’s designation for the Lord’s Supper. It is, but this name contains within it a call to action we ought to heed. It comes from the Greek word used in the telling of the Last Supper: “The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας), he broke it, and said, "This is my body…” The word Eucharist literally means thanksgiving. I know it’s only October, but perhaps this year we shouldn’t wait for the turkey to prompt our practice of gratitude. We’re learning, after all, that gratefulness is key to cultivating joy.

A “communion” is also an intimate fellowship. People sometimes talk about communing with nature. We don’t often refer to a meaningful meal with family or great friends as “communing” with one another, but the reference works. (Hey kids – come to the table – it’s time to commune!) Beyond that, a communion can also be a group that experiences an ongoing connection because of what they hold in common. As a church and as a Church, (big C and little c) we have this sacred inheritance.

We are mysteriously interconnected to one another at a local and global level by the power of the Holy Spirit. What might it mean for us to practice that aspect of World Communion this month? Perhaps it’s time to read stories of suffering Christian brothers and sisters from places like Sudan. This may be the perfect month to share a meal with people whose ethnic or economic reality offers a different worldview than your own. We may want to spend this month attempting to be completely open to others, no matter how difficult that might be. At Second Baptist, we continue to celebrate our recent decision to make our church membership as open as our communion table. What if our hearts could open up a bit more too? It seems to me our hearts can always stand to open up a bit more too. What might that look like for you?

Finally, World Communion is about our common commitment to the Good News. Paul writes “for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) Christians all over our world are connected because we have been swept up into this Holy Communion with God and others by the saving, redeeming, unifying, life-giving power of Jesus Christ. That’s not just something worth celebrating, that’s worth sharing. Who might you invite into Communion this month?

With Thanksgiving,

Jason Edwards
Senior Pastor

Posted by Jason Edwards at 8:00 AM
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