(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by many Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. The tradition was begun in 1934 by Rev. Hugh Thomson Kerr who ministered in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church. “Davitt S. Bell (the late Clerk of Session and church historian at Shadyside) recalled that Dr. Kerr first conceived the notion of World Communion Sunday during his year as moderator of the General Assembly (1930)
Today, the Canadian Council of Churches asks us to remember all people of faith as we celebrate communion with Jesus through the sacrament. As people of faith, there is much we have in common with faithful followers of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and other living faiths.
We celebrate the unique and challenging message of Jesus our Lord, while respectfully acknowledging the faith of other religions.
World Communion Sunday is a time to follow the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
If we spend all our time focusing on the forces that pull us apart as Christians, it is easy to get discouraged, overwhelmed, and anything but united. This is a chance to look at what binds us together as humans and as Christians. The love of Christ. The call to compassion in a hurting world to all God’s children who suffer. This empowers us to make this world a better place.
Today as we celebrate, we also remember.
- We remember loved ones, grandparents, dear relatives or friends, or people from our congregation who have been part of this community, who are now in the safe keeping of our Lord.
- We celebrate with Christians around our world celebrating communion with us today. Palestinian Christians who celebrate in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in Israel. Pakistani Christians who are an increasing minority in their country.
- We celebrate with North Korean Christians who worship in private, seeking to avoid persecution, as they remember Jesus and share the rice-bread traditional to countries where rice is the staple food product.
- We celebrate with Christians in communion outside of destroyed church buildings in Texas, Florida, Cuba, and most islands in the Caribbean Sea.
- We celebrate with relatives and loved ones who are living in other lands, who will remember us in their prayer time today.
We say that we are “One.” Yet there are such vast differences. I am reminded that somehow, some way, the gospel of love of Jesus Christ always finds a way through to our hearts. We find ourselves working with people we might not even like, but we agree with them that we can make our world better for all, if we work together.
This is the message of World Communion Sunday. May we be one, if even for a moment. Thanks to you Lord Jesus.