Each month, when I invite us to the Communion table, I begin with the simple word “come.” We’ve heard the same word repeated over the last four weeks as we’ve explored the stories of invitation contained throughout the Gospels. Jesus says to us, “Come and follow,” “Come and see,” “Come and grow,” and “Come and rest.” Each invitation is important, and each teaches us some aspect of the Christian life.
We will conclude our sermon series on Sunday with Jesus’ invitation “Come and Eat.” It is, perhaps, the most important of the invitations, because it is an invitation to join Jesus at the table, to eat of the feast that has been prepared for us, to remember Jesus’ sacrifice, to be nourished for our own journey of faith, and to look forward to the great feast that is still to come.
Jesus’ invitation is an open invitation. It is for those who have been to the Table often and for those who have never been; it is for those who have it all together and for those who are struggling. It is an open invitation because it is Christ’s table; it is not my table, it is not a Presbyterian table, but it is Christ’s table. And at Christ’s table there is room for all!
This Sunday, October 2, is a particularly special occasion. The Church designates the first Sunday in October as World Communion Sunday. On Sunday, as daylight inches across land and sea, Christians will gather, at their own times, in their own places, and with their own traditions, to celebrate their place in God’s family.
The tradition began in the 1930s amid clouds of war and great economic uncertainty. In response, World Communion Sunday was imagined as a way to celebrate the call of all Christians – of whatever background and whatever theological tradition. To recollect, remember and celebrate that we are one in Christ. And to be reminded that the table we receive from, and communion at, is God’s table – not our own.
I love celebrating World Communion Sunday, not only because it connects us to believers next door and to believers around the world, but also because it reminds me again that there is a place for everyone at the table. It is not a meal reserved only for those who I like or approve of, but it is a meal open to all. And that’s good news for me, and it is good news for you.
Whoever you are, wherever you have been, there is a place for you at Christ’s table!
And so, come to the table. “Come and eat,” Jesus says!
Grace and peace,