Isn’t the loaf of bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one loaf of bread, we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread. (1 Corinthians 10)
Growing up Southern Baptist, I sat in on about 502 masses during my four years of Catholic School. Although Mary Queens’ communion was closed, I did not feel left out, perhaps because my home church practiced closed communion as well. I rejoice that we Methodists open Communion to everyone. In Catholic school, I did not agree with the way the nuns and priests explained Holy Communion to us. By middle school, I could argue that Christ was not literally in that wafer. Still, during one routine weekday mass, as a nun gently sang “0ne bread one body one cup we share”and I watched loving tears flow down her wrinkled brown cheeks, I somehow knew something greater than my best understanding was at work. In (my) Sister’s reflective tears, I caught a fleeting glimpse of God’s Mysterious Love that is bigger than any of our best theologies or creeds.
Today, you do not need to believe what I believe to come to this table, for this is Christ’s table, not mine. You do not have to use my words or my language at this Table: there is room for mystery and diversity. You do not need to have your theology right. Religious knowledge changes, adapts and fades away: all that really endures is faith, hope, and love! (1 Corinthians 13) You do not need to get your crap together to come to this Feast for this table is all about forgiveness. God’s infinite, boundless, limitless forgiveness cried out from the Cross: God forgive them!
One of our Two Our UMC Confessions of faith confesses “that we believe that baptism and holy communion are symbols and pledges …of God’s love toward us. They come to us as means of grace by which God works invisibly in us, quickening, strengthening and confirming….
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a representation of our redemption, a memorial of Christ’s sufferings and death, and a token of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another.”.
Come to Jesus’ Table and remember Christ’s boundless. Come, let us see God in each other. Come, remember that a God bigger than our best ideas and efforts is working invisibly in us all. Amen.