Gathering as One Body at the Table

This Sunday we will gather around the communion table and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Our custom at BMPC is to observe high holy days and mark liturgical seasons by including communion in the 10:00 a.m. worship service. (Communion is served weekly at the 8:00 a.m. service in the Chapel.) This Sunday’s special observance is the Transfiguration of the Lord, that odd and glorious moment on the mountain when Jesus is revealed to his inner circle of disciples as the Son of God while his face shines like the sun.

After watching half an hour of the evening news last night, I am profoundly aware of the radical and hopeful claims we have for the breaking of bread and sharing of cup to bring us together. The news is filled with stories about division: ongoing protests, political rancor, racial tension, global uncertainty and fears of environmental degradation. Amid weighty concerns for the world that so often feels like it is on the brink, we will gather at the communion table and share of one loaf and drink of one cup, proclaiming the Lordship of Christ in all of creation and the unifying power of God to redeem us, taking what is broken and making us whole.

Together on this Transfiguration Sunday we will remember mountaintop moments of divine revelation when Jesus is revealed as the Son of God. And then we’ll come down from the mountain, gather at the table, and celebrate the sacrificial love of God that both nurtures us on our journey of faith and unites us to be the Body of Christ in the world.

The early Christian theologian Augustine said to his congregation while presiding at the Lord’s Supper: “Receive who you are. Become what you have received.” May it be so for us in our time – recipients of God’s grace which works in and through us to make us more gracious.