Once a month our church celebrates Communion. The golden plates are displayed neatly on an altar at the front of the sanctuary. During the service we reflect on the elements’ significance and ponder our undeserved seat at the Lord’s Table.
And what a diverse Table it is! But what unity we enjoy! We are a Body, a Family, with unique members, each one so different from the others, and yet we couldn’t possibly have more in common. We have all tasted grace. We have all been given a seat at a table to enjoy a feast with a King. And all this not because we are related to Him by royal blood of our own, but because royal blood was shed to make the King’s enemies His friends, His blood-bought sons and daughters.
My mind is swirling with these heavenly realities as the elders stand and receive the plates before making their way through the sanctuary, watching the elements weave from row to row. An elder moves to the end of our row. He’s a youth group parent, and he passes the plate to David, a partner in ministering to his children. David reaches in and takes a piece of bread before passing the plate to me. I take a piece and pass the plate to my neighbor, a legendary Bible teacher. She takes a piece of bread and passes it on.
The plate has been smudged by the fingers of parents, grandparents, and children. It has passed through the hands of those who have run their race with endurance and through the hands of those whose race has only begun. Two words come to mind as I watch the congregation eat, drink, and remember.
Only God. Only God could take this diverse group of broken people and unite us under His banner of love. Only God could come up with something this amazing, this beautiful. He has placed us on solid ground – common ground – together at the foot of the cross.
The hymn we often sing resounds in my ears and overwhelms my heart. “So we share in this bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice as a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.”
We are family, eternally related by the blood of Another.