This Sunday we will celebrate World Communion Sunday at Christ Presbyterian Church. This is a day that is intended to promote Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. Started in the 1930s by a Presbyterian congregation, and it has now grown to be celebrated in many denominations in the United States and abroad.
We have been fortunate to expand our World Communion Sunday experience during our 11 am service by incorporating special components into our worship that highlight the diversity of God’s creation while illustrating the unity we have in Christ. We have also begun a tradition of sharing in a meal comprised of dishes from around the world.
There is a danger in this type of celebration. It is easy to make a day such as World Communion Sunday a show of our diversity. It isn’t enough to recognize and celebrate the diversity of God’s creation on one day. At Christ Presbyterian we are fortunate to have a congregation that has a modicum of racial/ethnic diversity in our daily life. That being said, the reality is that our congregation doesn’t reflect the truly diverse nature of our community nor the world. Our congregation has another diverse reality that we sometimes overlook or take for granted. We are a congregation that is comprised of people from various theological and political viewpoints. We should understand this as a great gift from God. Often churches find themselves as homogenous bodies. Our community is blessed with a deep and faithful diversity in viewpoint that leads us to have powerful conversations.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in the fourth chapter of Ephesians that, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” The unity that we have in God’s Spirit transcends our differences. We also know that each of us has been given unique gifts to be used in the world for God’s purposes.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
As we celebrate World Communion Sunday, I can’t help but wonder how each of us employs the gifts we have been given for the common good. The Church is the Body of Christ when we unite the various parts we represent in work and service. This also has me thinking about how we at Christ Presbyterian Church empower one another to loose the gifts God has given us in the world. All the ministries of our church are dependent on our members and friends willingness to manifest their gifts in the common community. As we reflect on the wonderful blessing of how God has blessed us with a diverse creation, I hope we can also ask how do we put that diversity to work in the world on God’s behalf.