Leading up to World Communion Sunday (the first Sunday in October), I often find myself thinking of the various places and communities that I have called home. Listing them all would take too long, but they include places in South Africa, the United States, Zimbabwe, India, Nepal and Australia.
What are the places and communities you have called home? Even if you haven't moved around, you probably have different communities based on periods of your life, how you spent your time (working, caring for children or elderly relatives), and who you spent time with. Where have you felt truly safe? Where have you had a sense of true belonging? Where have you been able to show up exactly as you are and be embraced and beloved?
World Communion Sunday reminds us that, through the Holy Spirit, the circle of home and belonging encompasses all time and traverses all distance. It enfolds our ancestors, our neighbors and those halfway around the world. Somehow, through Christ, we are part of this larger picture, this larger realm, this larger beloved community. It is easy to get caught up in our little corner of the world -- the practices and problems of our particular place. World Communion Sunday invites us to pause, to lift our heads and to look toward the horizon, to look towards the bigger picture, God's picture, of which we are a part.
On Sunday, Christian communities around the world will be breaking bread -- or sharing rice cakes, tortillas, chapati, flatbread, wafers -- sharing the cup and praying for us, their siblings. The communion feast will circle the globe with celebrations of God's love starting while we still sleep and continuing long after we have gone home from service. Through this simple ritual we are connected -- around the globe. Through God's love, all belong.
Having just voted to adopt a welcome statement that is intentionally broad, let us consider who, near and far, might need a reminder of this all-encompassing embrace of love.
With love and peace,