For just as the body of Christ is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body; so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we are all baptized in to one body...and we are all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12.12-13
Have you noticed that the world seems rather fragmented lately? There seems to be so much more that divides us than unites us. Our identity is often defined by how we perceive ourselves to be different from and, many times, better than others. Mirroring this phenome- non, government has often digressed from polarization to hostility with various sides attempting, with limited success, to advance its own agenda; instead resorting to merely “stopping the other guys.”
We would like to think that the church, which the Apostle Paul described as the Body of Christ, is the exception to this division. However, we do not need to look far to see that even the church has separated along a variety of issues, from worship styles, to how to interpret the Bible, to who is invited to worship. Even how we remember the Last Supper, which Jesus shared with the original disciples before he was crucified, has become a source of division as we have developed a variety of traditions, and have associated different meanings to the words spoken and even to the elements themselves.
And yet, churches around the world have designated the first Sunday in
October as World Communion Sunday, a time when we celebrate our
unity as the Body of Christ. It is a reminder that, even with all that can
distinguish us from one another, there is so much more that brings us
together. We are followers of Jesus Christ, the one God sent to redeem
us and call us to the presence of love and hope. We celebrate the fact
that we are invited to the table, not because of what we deserve, but
simply because of God’s unconditional love for us; the same caring that motivates us to invite our neighbors to experience the presence of God in their lives.
In a world that may seem hopelessly divided in so many ways, it is important for us to re- member what it is that connects us to one another. We are each uniquely and wonderfully created in the loving image of God. We are each blessed with gifts and abilities that make us who we are and, combined with the gifts of our sisters and brothers, can reach out to our neighbors to offer acceptance and reconciliation.
As we gather as the Body of Christ, let us remember the power of the Holy Spirit that unites us with one another and calls us to bring hope to the world.