REFLECTIONS FROM WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY)
Table of Openness
Because there are communion tables that are designed only for the religious elites. There are tables that are only accessible to church members who can say a certain creed. I've seen tables that are so sophisticated, you cannot go near it, or so exclusive, you cannot be part of it.
But thank God, the table before us is an open table. He died for us to have an open table and he demonstrated what an open table would like. He dined with the social outcasts. He dined with the Pharisees. This is a table that will not ask for your religious identification. This is a table that will not require a particular social status. Here is a table that anyone can dine. No reservation needed. No gold card membership. Just come as you are.
What are the tables in our lives that we need to open more? Is it the table of tolerance, to accept people that are different from us? Or are you someone who recently experienced rejection? Or do you feel like an outsider from the table of accomplishment, where the successful, the academically trained, the power-holders, the affluent are the only one seated? Here is the good news: we have a table where you are unconditionally welcomed.
Table of Remembrance
In every communion, we go back in time during that worshipful and intimate hour. Can you see him in the middle of that sacred space? He is right there breaking the bread. He is right there lifting up the cup. The man who made the blind to see and the lame to walk again; the man who forcefully tore opened the exclusive tables of the religious elites, and proclaimed, "Anyone can come to God's table!"
And then he said: when you eat the bread; drink from the cup, do this in remembrance of me. This is the reason why we do this solemnly. This is the reason why we do this worshipfully. This is the reason why we do this gratefully. We remember how Christ's love expanded the table of God.
Table of Grace
This is a table of grace because this table represents God's grace demonstrated at the cross of Calvary.
- Healing grace for the broken.
- Pardoning grace for the condemned.
- Strengthening grace for the weary.
- Reconciling grace for a world divided.
And because this is a table of grace, we approach it in humility. We are not proud of our good works, but we are humbled by God's mercy. This is the reason why we don't judge others who dine on the same table. Because we are all invited to partake not because of our merit, but because of God's grace.
And because this is a table of grace, this table stretches from this church to the neighboring churches here in Tacoma, to the whole of Washington. From national boundaries to another, crossing cultures, languages, denominational walls. Today we celebrate that unlimited bond of believers all over the world.
Today we celebrate that this table extends where the name of God is seek and the grace of God is receive. Amen.