catholic (little “c”) Communion

The table.  It’s not by chance that the primary symbol of our faith is the table.  Jesus knew what he was doing when he invited his disciples to remember him at the table…

          This place of nourishment…

          This place of fellowship…

          This place where we come together…

Like this past Monday.  On Monday, the memorial service for Bob Donahue was held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church.  In our phone conversation a few days before, I asked Fr. Gabe, the priest in charge of the service, about communion.  His response:  “If anyone comes with their hand out, we’ll serve them communion.”

I didn’t tell Fr. Gabe, but I had decided not to receive communion, mostly because I didn’t want him to get in trouble.  Everyone else there on Monday could have “passed” as Catholic…but not me!

But when it came time for communion, Fr. Gabe invited me to the altar and served me communion.  He served me–a Protestant clergywoman–communion! 

          …and the roof didn’t fall in…

          …and lightning didn’t strike…

          …and no thunder roared…

We simply shared the body ofChristASthe body of Christ…and we all got a brief glimpse of God’s kin-dom.  And it was beautiful.

That’s what I mean about this table bringing us together.  When I say it brings us together, it brings us together…

…It brings us together with other parts of the body of Christ…

…It brings us together with everyone in our past who has ever shared with us in this meal, even those who have died…

…And it brings us together with each other, this part of the body of Christ we call Pilgrimage United Church of Christ…

As I speak the words of institution, I invite you to imagine all the others who join you at the table today—your personal saints, loves ones who have died, your church family, and the rest of the body of Christ.

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it, he broke it, gave it to the disciples and said:  “Take, eat; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying:  “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in God’s kin-dom.”

Let us pray.  We give you thanks, loving God, for the fruit of the vine and the grain of the field….these constant reminders of your incarnation, your desire to be with us and to love us.  Bless these elements with your holy presence…and thereby bless us in your service, O God.  Amen.

Invitation:   Come to this table you who have much faith

And you who would like to have more;

You who have been to this sacrament often

And you who have not been for a long time;

You who have tried to follow Jesus,

And you who have failed.

Come, it is Christ who invites us to meet him here.

Share the Elements

Nurturing God, the table was a little crowded today, what with all our saints and loved ones and fellow church members and the rest of the body of Christ.  Despite the fact that we ALL came to the table, still we all were fed…we were fed by juice and bread, we were fed by your love, and we were fed by our togetherness at this table. 

Now that we have been nourished, send us out to nourish others.  In the name of our brother Jesus, Amen.


About reallifepastor

I'm a pastor who's working out her faith...just like everyone else.
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