I will be in them, just as you are in me. This is so that they may be brought together perfectly as one. Then the world will know that you sent me. It will also show the world that you have loved those you gave me, just as you have loved me. – John 17:23
Sunday Morning – in the simple ceremony that resides at the heart of what makes community possible – our family reunion gathered at the pavilion overlooking the lake for worship and communion.
I led a few songs on the guitar, everyone read a scripture that has been speaking to their hearts, cousin Zandra shared a short message, and Rebekah served communion.
It’s all important – the sharing, the scripture, the singing, the gathering – but what’s most important is the bread and the wine, the act of communion, the remembering, the taking Christ seriously: “This is why I came,” Jesus said; “your love – your life together, your unity – will stand as the proof the world needs that my work actually means something” (John 17).
So we come together – not because we agree on everything but because Jesus agrees on us. Jesus is very clear that his invitation is for everyone, and that how we handle that beautiful truth will do more to advance (or not) God’s kingdom than any dogma, argument, judgment, creed, or doctrine we can impose or require.
So we come together – not because we agree on everything but because Jesus agrees on us…
The “girl cousins” were thrilled to be together; the “sisters-mothers-daughters” picture worked wonderfully, there’s one big family portrait on someone’s camera I’ll share when I get it; our grandchildren ran around enjoying their first of many reunions to come; stories were shared and relationships built…
But it’s gathering together around our common faith in Jesus, and breaking the bread, and drinking the “wine,” that marks this family in a way that is essentially unattainable without the binding strength of God’s love.
“Just love each other,” Jesus says, “it’s that essential….”
- In love, and because of love – DEREK