“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves.Matthew 11:28-29
I have taken the bread and the wine, the Lord’s Supper, communion, the eucharist in so many different places. With Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and many more. In the old sanctuary at Folkestone Baptist Church in England; on youth retreats; by the bedside of people not long for this world; in our living room; at Trinity Presbyterian Church; on the shore of Galilee; with the congregation at First Presbyterian in Brandon; outside the Garden Tomb; in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Middle East; at dozens of conferences and retreats; on buses, on mountaintops; on a cruise ship; at WFPC; even driving while live streaming.
I have shared the bread and the wine via coffee and wafers, water and biscuits, or whatever was at hand. I have shared it just with Rebekah and simultaneously with literally thousands in one place. Passing the tray, serving one-another in a small group, individual plastic services, a common cup, intinction. Kneeling, sitting, standing.
I share it with those present, and with those past. And it is served, with love and solemnity, by Jesus and in the company of that “great cloud of witnesses.”
Today is “World Communion Sunday.” We are sharing the bread and the wine with Catholics in Rome, Pentecostals in Australia, Orthodox worshippers in Moscow, Andrew and Alicia in Bahrain, Naomi and Craig in Miami, Wake Forest Presbyterians locally, Lutherans in Nova Scotia, and the people we will share physical space with somewhere in Raleigh.
Always, the elements are a direct invitation from Jesus. “Come to the table.” There are no restrictions, only the wide open arms of God.
Peace, and unity, to all – DEREK