This Sunday is World Communion Sunday, and as United Methodists, we join other United Methodist and other denominations to celebrate in God’s generosity through the sharing in God’s table all over the world. More significantly, as United Methodist we extend God’s generosity though our own generosity by supporting scholarships to national and international students who come from historically marginalized communities.
Early in my ministry I fell in love with Communion. In fact, in my first appointment, during Lent I decided to celebrate Communion weekly. I explained to the congregation that especially during Lent, participating in the Communion table was a reminder of God’s desire for all people to be redeemed. After two Sundays, two women asked me if I could have a conversation with me. “We just wanted to ask you if we could receive Communion next Sunday?” I said, “Of course, what makes you think you cannot do it?” Then, the two of them when ahead and shared how in two different contexts, one Catholic one and one Protestant, both of them were taught that for different reasons they were not worthy of receiving Communion. One of the women was 60 and the other one 42. I cannot imagine going that long thinking you’re not worthy of experiencing God’s redeeming grace at the Communion table. The next Sunday, both of them received Communion for the first time, as they received the bread and the cup, tears roll down their faces – and tears roll down my face.
May this World Communion Sunday be an opportunity for us to remind ourselves and others that we are worthy of receiving the bread and the cup. May it be an opportunity to let God redeem us, so that we can be the one Church united in Christ that God wants us to be.
A friend from El Salvador wrote a very well know Communion Song called “Vamos Todos al Banquete,” or “Let’s All Go to the Banquet,” his name is Guillermo Cuellar. I invite you to go to the link below, so you can sing it or pray it. Here are the lyrics, both in English and in Spanish:
Vamos todos al banquete
a la mesa de la creación,
cada cual con su taburete,
tiene un puesto y una misión.
Let us go now to the banquet
to the feast of the universe
The table’s set and a place is waiting
Come everyone with your gifts to share.
Hoy me levanto muy temprano,
ya me espera la comunidad,
voy subiendo alegre la cuesta,
voy en busca de tu amistad.
I will rise in the early morning
The community’s waiting for me
With a spring in my step I’m walking
With my friends and my family.
Dios invita a todos los pobres,
a esta mesa común por la fe,
donde no hay acaparadores,
y a nadie le falta un con que.
God invites all the poor and hungry
to the banquet of justice and good
where the harvest will not be hoarded
so that no one will lack for food.
Dios nos manda hacer de este mundo,
una mesa de fraternidad,
trabajando y luchando juntos,
compartiendo la propiedad.
May we build such a place among us
Where all people are equal in love
God has called us to work together
And to share everything we have.
If you would like to view past editions of Time with Ismael,
follow this link: https://heritagedistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/