Kolar: Better to focus on those things about which we agree

"I will be honored to be joining you as we remember Jesus by imitating his actions during the last supper," writes Janel Kolar.

Rev. Janel F. Kolar is the pastor at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Dickinson, North Dakota.
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1 Corinthians 11:23-26: For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

On Sunday, many churches around the world will join together to celebrate World Communion Sunday. It’s an opportunity to remember that regardless of our Christian roots or faith practices, there are some sacraments we share and I believe it is better to focus on those things about which we agree than those things that divide.

Of course, communion is celebrated differently in different settings of the church, and that’s okay. We don’t have to do everything exactly the same way in order to be united. The fact is, we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Table, and that’s a beautiful way to connect to others and lift up the beloved community of Jesus.

I love the idea that while we celebrate with our traditional breads, people around the world will celebrate with their own. Perhaps the people of Ethiopia will be using injera made from teff flour for their communion service, and the people of the Middle East might be using matzoh or a barley bread, and the people of South America may be making a corn meal bread called arepas. I love that the wine or grape juice used will come from various wine growing regions around the world. I love that we will say some of the same words when we have our celebrations and that we will be doing what we do in remembrance of Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, I will be thinking of you on Sunday. I will be honored to be joining you as we remember Jesus by imitating his actions during the last supper. I will think of our shared experience as a way that Jesus sees the kingdom of heaven at hand. Take and eat…together, united, harmonious….in remembrance.

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