Celebrating Holy Communion, All Day, Every Day
For many of us, not being able to gather together in the sanctuary to celebrate Holy Communion is one of the more upsetting results of having to isolate ourselves to protect each other from the spread of the Corona virus. So, as the last of my reflections, to help you to deal with this bewildering situation, I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts about our need to celebrate Holy Communion all day, every day, in ways different than, yet reflective of, the Holy Supper.
My first observation is that our celebration of the Lord’s Supper is generally a once a week communal celebration. In contrast, most of what Jesus taught and modeled about prayer and worship life focused on the importance of our having DAILY experiences of God’s Presence and Love, and on the importance of having these experiences IN ISOLATION, with the doors shut, rather than in groups! (Matt. 6:5-6) Also, we’re taught by what Jesus DID for daily prayer and worship. He regularly left the crowds and his disciples behind, in order to be alone, connecting with his Father (Holy Communion) in the hills or in a garden, alone. Jesus echoes the Old Testament advice to “Be still and know that I am God.” Just as our bodies will be feeble and disabled if they have only one big meal or one big breath a week, so our spirits and souls will suffer with only one “reminder” a week of God’s Love and Presence within us.
My second observation is that throughout the New Testament we hear Jesus and St. Paul and St. John encouraging us to experience the mystery of our union with Jesus (Holy Communion) in many different ways. Here are some examples: Romans 6:11 — “Think of yourselves …. as living in union with God, through Christ.” (Our thinking/imagining can generate experiences of our Holy Communion)
Colossians 3:10 — “Put on the new self. This is the new being, which God its creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself. (Putting on Christ in our daily living can generate a deeper knowing of our oneness (Holy Communion) with Christ.
1 John 1:7 –“If we live in the light…..then, we have fellowship with one another.” I John 1:7 (“Living in the Light” generates Holy Communion between Jesus followers)
These passages are good reminders of the fact that the Lord’s Supper is only one of a host of vehicles through which God “reminds us” that the glory of His Presence permeates not only our own being, but everything and everyone around us. So, even though our diminished access to the Lord’s Supper in the sanctuary might leave us feeling less fed with the presence of Christ than usual, the truth is that there is nothing that will ever separate us from God’s love or God’s indwelling presence, and the means for helping us to remember and revitalize our awareness of those blessed realities are multiple.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help us to open our eyes, more widely and more often, to the goodness and glory of your presence and love that is alive within us all, waiting to be enjoyed by us and distributed by us into the world. Bless us in our efforts to duplicate your gentleness and humility as we struggle with the frustrations of life’s imperfections and the slowness of our capacity to grow up into your likeness. With thanks for the glory of life, we pray, Amen.