A bite of bread and a sip of juice

Once again, we are deeply hurting as a nation. Racism and patriotism pitted against each other. It’s personal for millions of us.

Can the church offer a way ahead that is neither left or right, black or white?

This Sunday is World Communion Sunday. The first Sunday in October has been set aside to remind us that we are part of one global community of faith. Christians from every culture break bread and drink the cup to remember and affirm Jesus Christ as Head of the Church.

World Communion Sunday began in Pittsburgh at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in 1933. Nazism was on the rise in Europe, and the US and much of the world were in the grip of a Great Depression. Church leaders had a vision of uniting and saying to the world that, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are all one.

For those who grasp this transcendent reality, differences begin to fade.

Dan, our new associate pastor for outreach, and I gathered with about 40 other pastors this week to pray and sing and talk and imagine ways in which the church can help to heal the divisions among us. We are convinced that our best hope is not in government or politics or power, but in the Gospel.

The Gospel tells us that we are each more evil than we know, but more loved than we dare hope. At the Table we are reminded that we have been reconciled to God and each other through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Each of us is someone for whom Christ willingly and lovingly died.

And so, we come to the Table again to take this great reality into the center of our being.

Through a bite of bread and a sip of juice.