His Presence/Our Presence
Luke 13:29 "Then people will come from east and west, form north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God."
Think about who is present when we receive Holy Communion. Do you think only of those who come up to partake of the bread and cup? Those who serve the bread and cup? What about the presence of Christ at the Table? Do we only think of it as a memorial of His Last Supper with His disciples?
The following is from "The Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion" (p. 36) which was adopted by the 2004 General Conference: "In carrying out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ, The Book of Discipline stipulates that the church is to 'send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel' (paragraph 122). Those who partake of Holy Communion are sent from the Table to be in ministry as Christ's presence in the world. God's people are sent to work compassionately for healing, reconciliation, justice, and peace."
Too often we take the vow of presence to mean showing up on Sunday for worship and then getting on with our week as usual. If we approach Holy Communion as a means of renewing our commitment to be Christ's presence in the world and acknowledging His presence in us, we move toward living a more holy life that bears fruit through our actions and attitudes. Each time we participate in Holy Communion should be a reminder that we are now Christ's hands and feet on this earth and that each of us needs to be present in order to fulfill our purpose in sharing God's love and in bringing others to join us at the Table.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit - Sharing Your love with others is how we demonstrate Your presence in this world. Help us to be Your presence in all that we do, think, and say. Amen
About Pat Brown
Pat Brown has been a member of STUMC since 1971. She was the 2022 Lay Leader, is currently the Adult Discipleship Team Chair and volunteers in the Church office.