Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013
This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday… It is a day set aside each year to remind us that God’s greatest hope is that we my learn to live together as one. One in spirit, one in communion with the world, and united in faith, hope and love.
It seems like we’re a long way from that goal. There are so many divisions & factions within the world. We have religious, political, & economic tensions within our families, our cities, our work places, our country, and our world. We live in a world of extremes –where 1 billion people live on less than $1 dollar a day. Contrast this with CEO’s & hedge fund managers living on salaries of 10’s & 100’s of millions of dollars! We live in a world where 11 million people die of starvation each year. That’s one person, most often a child, dying every 3 seconds. Surely, with such extremes, there’s enough food for all of us on this planet! Enough bread to share at the table of humanity! The Hope begins within each one of us. The tiny mustard seed reminds us of the mighty potential of the hope and the power within each of us to do our part, to bring forth this vision.
Communion is about remembering; bringing together, re- membering the past, remembering the world. So, especially on World Communion Sunday, we remember our sisters and brothers in need. We remember and renew our mission efforts to support the victims of natural and human made disasters in the world; from the earthquake in Haiti; to the floods in Pakistan; from the oil spill in New Orleans and tsunami in Japan; to the war in Sierra Leone. We remember the poor & disabled within this city and this country, and pledge our ongoing support for them, through our work with St Mary’s, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Bay Area Community Services, and the outreach efforts of our denomination, the United Church of Christ.
Our mission work reminds us that we are inextricably linked, because we are one body. Our mission work reminds us that each one of these people could be our sister or our brother; and could be us. Our mission work provides us with a glimpse of that day when “They shall all be one”. When all boundaries are stripped away, and we are in “communion with the world.” Then we will not be rich or poor, east or west, Muslim or Jew, citizen or immigrant, African or European, Asian or Hispanic, Catholic or Protestant, liberal or evangelical; we will just the children of the one God of many names together.
It’s a beautiful vision.
Psalm 8 calls us to communion, with all of humanity, and all of creation.
Hear again the words of Psalm 8..
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, O God,
The moon & the stars that you have established;
What are human beings that you are mindful of us,
Mere mortals that you care for us?
and yet, you have made us little less than gods,
you have crowned us with glory and honor.
You have given us dominion over the works of your hands;
You have put all things under our feet,
All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
……and then, the psalm ends with these words:
O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!