Last week we began a two part series about the sacrament of communion in Christianity. You may have heard of the word sacrament before but wondered what sacrament really means. A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. Communion is the way it is because of why is. Most of us know what communion is. However, this series is about why it is. Why is communion important?
I noted that there are five reasons for communion. For brevity, I’m going to narrow it down to three main reasons for communion. I wrote about the first two reasons last week. Here’s a quick review.
First of all, to remember Christ and what He did on the cross for all of humankind. It reminds us of the New Covenant that God made with all of us, sealed with the signature of the breaking of His body and His blood. He is the Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. It’s the initiation of a new deal. We need to remember that. Final and convincing evidence that there is life beyond life, eternal life, and God made a way for us to experience it. Easter was awful or Christ but awesome for us.
The second reason for communion was to remind all of us that we are equal. Everyone is someone with Jesus. There are no second class human beings. Red and yellow, black and white, we are all precious in His sight. We are all God’s favorite children. Communion reminds us Christians…at the table of Jesus, all are equal and welcome.
The third reason for communion is to experience the reality and awe of God. The communion table is meant to bring us into God’s presence and experience God’s presence. Don’t let sleepy religion or ritual crowd out the reality and awe of God’s presence. Just like God’s mercy, God’s presence is new every morning for those in close relationship with God. That kind of closeness and communion with God is awesome indeed. Communion with God de-powers alienation from God.
There are two words for ‘Father’ in the New Testament. The first word, ‘Pater,’ signifies the magnificence; eternalness; might; holiness; ‘unapproachableness’ of God. You see this word in the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father (Pater) who is in Heaven…” God is that way. He dwells in unapproachable light. He is who He is. God is transcendent…beyond everything we could think or imagine.
Yet, there is another word for Father, ‘Abba,’ in the New Testament. That word means, Daddy. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15. So even though God is our Holy ‘Pater’ Who is in Heaven, He is also our “Daddy and Father” who made it on earth as it is in heaven.
We don’t have to be afraid that God is going to zap us. The way to God was opened by Christ. Heaven came to earth. God’s not far away. God is here, involved, aware, loving, kind, yet holy. That’s what communion reminds us of. Communion inspires self-examination. It’s revelation of who we are and Who God is. How could a Holy, Righteous, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Eternal, God be my Daddy? Why? Because God is both transcendent and imminent. He is in heaven, high and lifted up. But, God is also imminent. Right here with you and me, right now. Awesome!
The early church grabbed this concept and changed the world. God was by their side, on their side and in the inside of them. With gladness and sincerity they broke bread and drank the cup from house to house. Because they were in communion with God, they were in awe of God which led to more communion with God. They grew in numbers, they grew up spiritually, they grew out into all the world, and they grew together in Christ. The city loved what they saw in this new movement.
This Easter, or more accurately, Resurrection Day, don’t let the crowd…crowd out the reason for Easter and the communion you will likely receive. That would be awesome.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.