Hundreds of clergy and delegates from the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ shared communion last Saturday at the Annual Meeting …
… and it was a holy moment, indeed!
Before communion began, we all brought our offerings to the communion table. Our gifts were not only dedicated to the glory of God, but they also became part of the table we would eventually gather around.
Two kinds of gifts – the gifts we give to God and the gifts God gives to us – became one. And instantly (instantly!) we were united by our maker – who calls us to be ministers throughout the world.
The Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers preached during our opening worship and then lead a forum during the morning session. During the forum he talked about looking at communion in a different way. He is not saying that we should eliminate the basic elements of bread and wine/juice. He is, however, saying that we need to see and feel the presence of Christ every time we share a meal with our brothers and sisters.
I had to laugh on Sunday … one of the choir members asked me if I could get him a mint from my office. I grabbed the dish and brought it into the sanctuary, offering mints not only to the choir, but also to parishioners preparing for worship. One of the older women laughed at me. “Mint of Christ?” she asked as I passed the dish around. “It’s a new kind of Communion!” I said to her as she took a mint.
I think I am guilty of taking part in communion because that it “what we do on the first Sunday of the month.” But it is SO much more than that. It is a holy and blessed meal. It is an opportunity to experience Christ, to see a tangible expression of grace and to break down barriers between neighbors. Through the sacrament of Holy Communion, we are not “doing” something, we are “experiencing” something. I think if we truly allow ourselves to “experience” communion, we may – as Meyers suggested – be able to experience the sacrament outside of traditional worship, liturgy and elements.
What are your thoughts on communion?