This Sunday, July 4, is the holiday celebrating our nation's independence. It's the height of the vacation season, and I'm sure a lot of people will be traveling. I hope many will pause to worship with us online even though they might be away from home. But for those who are here and who decide to venture out to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary to come to worship in person, we're going to do something we haven't done together in over fifteen months: we're going to share in the sacrament of holy communion.
Dr. Zan Homes tells of a famous novelist who died several years ago leaving a list of plots for future stories that were never written. One of them was this: "A widely separated family inherits a great world house in which they have to live together." Said Dr. Holmes, "This is the great problem of humankind. We have inherited a great world house in which we have to live together: black, white, brown, yellow, and red; Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Protestant and Catholic."
Do you remember the old children's song? "Red and yellow, black and white, they're all precious in his sight . . ." How remarkable that the church attempts to pursue unity amidst such diversity. But that unity is never more apparent than at the communion table. Because in the sacrament of communion, we all sit at the same banquet table and eat from the same basket. We realize how alike we really are and how much our need is all the same.
You will have the opportunity to celebrate that unity this Sunday morning with your other sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ. The thing that unites us is that we have given the same answer to the same question. When God has called our name, we have answered yes. That is what unites us, what binds us together, despite our differences. We become one at the table.
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas