Today, people around the globe, those who are baptized and those who are not, are celebrating World Communion Sunday, breaking the bread and sharing the cup, as the body of Christ together, remembering that we are the body of Christ, who brought us unity, peace and harmony for one another and the world.
World Communion Sunday began in 1963 in the Presbyterian church, since then, the celebration has grown into an international ecumenical celebration of Christian unity.
In this practice of breaking bread together in unity, we have witnessed a mind – opening exposure to different Christian traditions from around the world.
It's an opportunity to recognize the many and various ways Christians around the globe celebrate the same ritual. it’s an occasion when we can celebrate try a new and old celebration of the faith communities globally within the bounds of love and Justice. There is important work to be done in the area of cultural understanding and mission and ministry that concerns people around the world and in our congregations.
What does it mean to celebrate world-wide communion together globally? Does it mean making sure that people everywhere receive the Covid 19 vaccine? Does it mean stopping wars? Becoming involved in environmental issues?
What are the ongoing concerns in our churches’ mission and ministry?
For me, I thirst for better communication between one another and around the world.
Over the years, there seems to be less and less communication. Communication seems to have become more worldly and complex rather than personal or spiritual. Technology seems to be more important than people.
There is no personal security anymore. We want quick answers to our questions rather than having a discussion before coming to a conclusion.
When having a discussion with someone we tend to only half listen. Instead of really paying attention to the other's story, we are busy relating it to our own life and we respond with our own story.
Some years ago, when I went on my holiday, I saw a person who wore a shirt with writing on the back. It said, “Don’t ask me, ask Google”. People now use Google or YouTube to search for anything and everything.
After this service, we are having a congregational meeting to approve for the church governance and also to share information about the English service.
We have been working a lot on this at the council level and finally we are able to present our recommendations to the congregation today.
We United Church is a very unique and special church.
In 2016, we made a decision, a promise to dedicate ourselves to become an intercultural church.
What has been happening since then?
What changed since then?
With two cultures and languages, we have a responsibility to respect both.
Making a statement to become an intercultural church is totally different from putting that statement into practice.
We want worship to be meaningful for people of both cultures. A bi- lingual minister can’t speak two languages at the same time. An Intercultural church means, becoming a church with many languages, cultural, and traditions, but worshipping as one.
As Paul wrote to a diverse group in churches in Galatia. Multiple cultures, backgrounds and races could be found in the churches. Paul had concerns about the possibility of division. He pointed his readers to the unity found in Jesus Christ within His explanation that salvation – grace is offered to all who commit their lives to Jesus, Christ.
He then talks about Faith. Faith is everything. Faith has come, there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
Remember what St Paul said in his letter; We belong to Christ and follow in his path together, with minimal guidelines, laws served as a divider between Jew and Gentiles yet Faith is everything to serve God and the world, helping God’s people remain focused on God.
He asks us to live on Faith in common experience to our walking in transformation newness of life, process of us growing toward maturity as a faithful person. Paul reminded his people that they were adopted into the family of God through faith in Jesus.
Worldwide communion will bring us together in unity, opening our hearts wider as we follow Jesus who is tolerant to others who are different through deeper communication and teaching and embracing.
Remember that an Intercultural church is all about faith, open hearts and minds; in this way, we truly understand a life lived for unity, peace and harmony.
The world has been rapidly changing. The Church needs to change too. It needs to be more welcoming, and accepting of all who are different than ourselves.
Like it or not, this is what we are facing in today’s churches through our mission and ministry. By accepting God’s gift of grace- salvation, we will enter into a new relationship with God which creates a new relationship with everyone else who has placed their faith in Jesus.