This coming Sunday is World Communion Sunday, a day I have always loved. So I was startled this week to read an article entitled “Why World Communion Sunday Is a Bad Idea.” The basic argument was that the emphasis implies that the Eucharist is special, rather than being the ordinary (meaning frequent) gift of what is extraordinary—Christ’s very body given for the world. The author also raised the issue that there are places in the world where Christians are persecuted. Calling a day World Communion Sunday as if Christians aren’t taking risks to gather around the table ignores that reality. Indeed that reality will be very present for us since BPCs global missions are being highlighted in October. The work of the two mission partners to be honored on Sunday can’t be spelled out fully because to name them or where they are serving might put them in harm’s way.
So, yes, the author makes good points, but they do not dampen my gratitude in knowing that on this particular day people will be gathering around tables—some at great risk—in places around the world from sunrise on through the night. In truth that probably happens every Sunday to some extent, and I like being reminded of that, too.
Here in our sanctuary we will sing and share music from around the world, and be fed with Jesus’ limitless grace. We’ll once again use many different kinds and colors of bread and the Communion table will look especially abundant, again as a reminder of the limitlessness of God’s love. It was very moving last week as people “set the table” while Scott Smith shared about the Peace and Global Witness offering we’ll be taking that day. A quarter of whatever we give will stay right here in Blacksburg, and go to Glade Church for Laundry Love, which helps people who sometimes have to choose between clean clothes and buying food or medicine. The rest of the offering will go to PC(USA) projects that promote peace, justice, and reconciliation. The image you’ll see on the bulletin cover says it all: a table set in a bombed-out building. Perhaps the best way to honor the day is to give generously.
Scripture Readings for Sunday, October 2, 2016: Luke 17:5-10; 2 Timothy 1:1-14
The prayer list can be found here.