How Communion sends us into our neighbourhoods

Mike Frost shared at a recent Simple Church Network online gathering the idea of the church as a round table. He spoke of the community of faith connecting their life and faith in both action and reflection, working for justice for those marginalised by society, and welcoming all as fellow sojourners in God’s mission.

Mike also reflected on the Communion meal. He suggested there were 5 important ways of seeing Jesus at work in the Communion meal and in our neighbourhoods. They were:

  1. Communion is a meal of liberation
  2. Communion is a meal that welcomes all equally
  3. Communion is a shared meal for a sharing community
  4. Communion is an eschatological meal
  5. Communion is a meal of transformation. Mike Frost writes more on this here.

I led those gathered in sharing Communion together. I want to include you in some of what we did that day. So, here’s part of the video.

How Communion sends us into our neighbourhoods – basic transcript

Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:1-6

Communion vividly draws us back to our union with Christ and with fellow believers. In normal times, our community of faith remind us that following Jesus is something we do individually and as a community. As we’ve all gone online over the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed in some sense it’s easier to celebrate our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here’s what I mean, previously we’ve held this day in Sydney – it’s been geographically rooted. We haven’t been able to this year. The result is people have joined in from all over Australia, New Zealand, the US, Russia. We’ve heard how the one God, who’s called us into his body, is working all over the world in such uncertain times. We should celebrate this.

But I don’t want to place my hope in the virtual world or Zoom calls. Jesus is a better hope. When he took the bread and said, “This is my body,” and the cup and said, “This is my blood” he gave something tangible to hold, smell, taste and digest. He draws us to the cross – his death for ours’; his resurrection so we can live now and when he returns.

That’s the hope Paul calls us to be united in – ‘one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.’ As we come to take Communion today let us be reminded that through Jesus we are brought into his body, adopted into his family, co-heirs with Christ, sent into the world to participate in his mission, ministers of reconciliation, and ambassadors.

We’re reminded that in a world shaped by a pandemic, Jesus is present. He stepped into the world’s great pandemic – sin, and is not only present, but through his death and resurrection is victorious. This hasn’t changed, even in the midst of our uncertainties. Communion sends us out to live in a way that proclaims God is with us through the cross to those we meet.

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