Sunday, October 2, 2011

Looking for Unity

Today is World Communion Sunday.  At my church, that meant we celebrated the Lord's Supper using bread typical of several different countries, prayed for believers around the globe and took up the World Mission Offering. Several denominations recognize this celebration.

The day recognizes -- or seeks -- Christian Unity. One of the hymns in our service this morning referred to the Bread and Cup as a "sacrament of unity." A beautiful ideal, a wondrous thing to work toward.

Yesterday, I attended a Catholic Mass. It was at a parish that does not recognize World Communion Sunday. Because I am a Baptist, I did not receive  the Eucharist. I was reading in the Missalette about who could participate. Basically, "all Catholics who are not conscious of grave sin."  Non- Catholic Christians are asked to refrain because our participation would profess a unity that does not exist. We were asked to pray for the day when that unity would be a reality.

It makes perfect sense. There is much that divides us. I believe that will be true until Heaven.

There is also much that unites us. I am perfectly comfortable with both the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds. They are each printed in the Missalette. The truths that they spell out are common to Christians. I hope that we can find more and more common ground as time goes on and work toward more unity. But it's OK for us to be different from each other too. We can all find a place in the body of Christ.

Our church service ended with this traditional hymn:
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love 
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
My prayer is that someday that fellowship will be universal.

How does your congregation work with churches from other denominations? What could bring more unity?


  1. Hmm haven't been in a church for a long time (Our presbyterian church didn't seem to welcome children, even though mine sat well during the service, sang the hymns and generally enjoyed themselves they were frowned upon and complained about so I stopped going) I know it doesn't matter what religion you are when you attend, if it's on the Communion day all can join our community (Penola in South AUstralia) the presbyterians and catholics have always worked in well together, infact our history shows us that when Mary McKillop first came to Penola to help to set up the school it wasn't the local catholics that helped out it was the other religions....and I know that sort of thing is still happening today

  2. Stories of that type of cooperation are very inspiring.

    I'm sad, though, to hear of churches that don't welcome children. Jesus did and I feel like we should follow his example.

    Thanks for your comment!