"Do this in remembrance of me."
Christians remember these familiar words of Jesus from Luke 22:19 in connection with the Bread and the Cup offered by Jesus on the night when he was betrayed, deserted, and denied.
We call this observance by different names that include Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, and the last supper. We call it a sacrament or we call it an ordinance. We celebrate it at a communion table or at an altar, in pews or at rails. We use words like transubstantiation and consubstantiation, or real presence, spiritual presence, symbolism, and memorialism. We celebrate it on different schedules, whether at every worship service, or monthly, or quarterly. There are so many differences in what we call the broken bread and the outpoured cup, in how we observe it, and exactly what it means for us, but for all who follow the Prince of Peace, we do it in remembrance of him, and that is what unifies us as his followers.
It is sadly true that much divides us in this world, even in the church. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and movements in the world today. It is tragically true that our churches have differences large and small, but in this one sentence, "Do this in remembrance of me," we are unified in Christ, whatever our understanding and experience of Christianity and communion happen to be.
This year, World Communion Sunday will be celebrated around the globe on October 7 as a day set aside to help promote Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. This Sunday, different languages will be spoken at different kinds of tables, different traditions and customs will be observed, different liturgies and words will be spoken, and yet, everything will be done and spoken in remembrance of our Lord Jesus.
Let us celebrate that even with all our differences, we are truly unified as the One Body of Christ by the spoken words of Jesus as we share the bread and the cup in Guernsey County and around the world: "Do this in remembrance of me."
My friends, may the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, now and forever.