Posted by: AJ Demers | August 10, 2015

Coming to the Table As a Family

What really matters at the end of the day….

There is often a lot of talk about the Holy Eucharist being a family meal for the Body of Christ. Although we may have changed somewhat since the days when communion was served during a meal, we still celebrate the one bread and one cup that we receive with joy. Receiving communion helps us keep to the traditions of the past, as well as look to the future.

When we sing “One Bread, One Body”, I think that this a powerful expression of that unity. Sadly, divisions between Christian groups have made it so that we cannot always share the bread and wine in each others’ churches. Until that day comes, we can hope and pray for unity, as well as work toward that goal.

The Church is a family, as we all share the common brother and sisterhood of Christ through our baptisms. However, we have our fights at times, and sometimes those fights can get ugly. Denominations and congregations are a type of social group and as a social group, they have many of the same problems that affect other social groups.

There isn’t any single Christian group that’s been free from divisions or ungracious behavior. Episcopalians are no exception in that regard! All you need to do is read many of the posts on any Episcopal group or page on Facebook to see evidence of that 🙂

Yet, when we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, the altar rail should be that one place where those differences don’t matter. We have all been called into a relationship with the one Redeemer of us all. When Christ comes again, how many of the things that divide us now will even matter anymore?

Every time things change, there will be hurt people who feel we went too far or not far enough. This is true of both denomination-wide issues and little things that affect people only at the parish level. The thing we need to ask ourselves is, what role did we play in all of this?

Let’s keep this in mind the next time the Blessed Sacrament is shared. We should also pray for those struggling with theological differences, that we may be led to a place where we can honor each other and serve the broader world. Christ would have us do nothing less.


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