World Communion Sunday.
7 October 2018
First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone
Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home has provided a gift of the November 2018 Gratitude Every Day calendar. I am using it as an opportuity to revisit photos and post them as they speak to gratitude.
Staff and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathered this morning at the Presbyterian Center for a chapel service in response to racism and white supremacy in Charlottesville and other places. (An archived live stream of the service is available.)
My colleague and friend, José Luis Casal, director of World Mission, helped celebrate communion.
During the Words of Institution, José Luis observed that, “The bodies of all who have been victims of injustice, the victims of rejection, the victims of violence…are the body of Jesus Christ.”
He reminded us that to come to the table and to partake of the bread and the cup is to commit ourselves personally to stand on the side of love with Jesus and to work against racism, white supremacy, every form of systemic oppression, violence and all that harms any of God’s precious children.
Silently, I shouted “Amen” as loudly as I could.
And I wondered—when the Presbyterian Center or any church or worshipping community gathers to celebrate communion, isn’t that organization making a similar statement? The act of gathering at Christ’s table is, for the community as well, a radical act of commitment to Jesus and to justice, to love and to grace.
May it be so. Amen.
See you along the Trail.
Thanks to my friend and colleague Marissa Galván who posted some of José Luis’s word and inspired me to write this post. The image appeared on the cover of the worship bulletin this morning. View the bulletin for the service.
On All Saints’ Day –
November 1, 1995,
I had the privilege to worship
at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in
Cape Town, South Africa.
I had talked and preached
about All Saints’ Day often.
I have deep appreciation for
the Communion of Saints.
It is an important and profound
dimension of my faith.
Still, this was the first All Saints’ Day
service I ever attended.
It included the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
and led me to write these brief words:
Bread is broken,
wine is poured,
and all in Christ
For all the saints, thanks be!
Cape Town, South Africa
2 November 1995
Filed under Poem, Worship