As I’ve been discussing, I am participating in a home fellowship. I have mentioned that we haven’t arrived yet, that we are merely in the beginning of a journey. I have recognized that what we are trying to do is generally different than what anyone has seen before, and therefore almost no one, including those involved, sees the vision of where we are trying to go. To remedy that situation, I have been thinking about sharing more of the vision to those who are joining us regularly. This week I was able to do this for the first time.
The topic I chose to discuss first is that of communion. It has been a central part of what we do since almost the beginning, and we want it to continue to have a prominent place. And yet I admit I feel like even I haven’t really understood what it was very well. So it has been insightful to be enlightened by a couple of books which I have read recently. I read from those Sunday, and I have decided to attempt to share some of the thoughts here, for those who were not present.
To start with, communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is meant to be a full meal as opposed to a token ritual. There are many things tied up in sharing a meal together. It signifies closeness and community; a person most often eats with family and friends. It also displays God’s love, through being a symbol of provision and equality. Everyone is invited to participate equally, whether rich or poor, liberal or conservative, etc. Read Luke 14:15-24 for another vision of God’s banquet. (Although it’s not directly written about communion, I think it very much ties in.) The bread and wine are symbolic of the whole meal, as well as being symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice. Communion is also a reminder and foreshadowing of the great wedding banquet that God will host at the consummation of all things.
In my opinion, the best metaphor that I read for communion was that of the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The family of God comes together to celebrate his love and each other. We are sharing our lives together, as we participate in the mundane routine of eating a meal. We remember the hope we have through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, and his love for each of us. Baptism is our initiation into God’s family, and communion is a symbol of our continued participation in the family. It is an acting with tangible significance, more than just a religious ritual.
I love communion for these reasons. It is why I have brought the communion elements with me at different times, to share with those of you I share my life with. I have thought about including a meal with our time of fellowship quite a while ago, but hadn’t suggested it due to the fact that all of us are/were tight on money, to say the least. But the last several weeks, Carrie has been wonderful in that she has decided to fix a meal for everyone. She has done this without even knowing how it tied in. Thank you so much Carrie! I have really appreciated having this along with our fellowship, and I am looking forward to the ways we are going to continue to grow.