One Table

by | May 8, 2023 | Sermons | 0 comments

May 7, 2023

Scripture Reading:                 Corinthians 10:15-17, 12:12-13, & 12:27

So, you know the story of the Last Supper, don’t you?  But you don’t know what all was left out of the shortened, written account and I’m here to enlighten you about the details Paul decided to leave out.

  • Do you have any idea just how difficult it was to get all 13 people together for a whole evening – a meal and leisurely time afterwards?
  • Just setting the date was nearly impossible!  You think it was simple?  Peter and Andrew run this fishing business – nets have to be mended.  Judas plays rackball on Fridays.  John’s wife needed him home because she’s redecorating the living room.  James was sick.  He’s always sick!  
  • And why do we have to have Simon there anyway?  He’s such a radical, he keeps everyone all stirred up with his politics.  Nobody likes him!  And Peter.  He, too, is nothing but a loud-mouth know-it-all!  And I’ve always said Judas has no business being a part of this group.  You just wait and see!  He’s going to do something stupid and ruin it all for us.  And I’ve about had it with Thaddeus’s kids!  You aren’t going to invite the kids are you?  If you do, I’m not coming! And whose idea was this event anyway?  Shouldn’t we be voting on this sort of gathering?  Why does Jesus get his way all the time? Didn’t we agree last Fall that at least three of us need to approve these sorts of gatherings?  I’m getting really tired of this slip-shod goings on.  If it doesn’t improve soon, I’m out of here! And what is this all-male thing about anyway?  What are we wives – chopped liver?

Now, you have to admit, that is not all that hard to imagine!  I may have missed on a few details, but I’m guessing there is no way the event went off without a hitch.  

And yet, with all of this tension and hassle over details, Jesus still called those 12 people together and made a strong statement for the need to persist in asking his people to practice ever moving toward unity.  

This whole event has been adopted by Christians ever since as an identifying mark of who we are and we have chosen the descriptive label of Communion.   COMM+UNION.  Com=”with” and then Unity!  

Everywhere we see a picture or an image of the act of Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, it all looks so peaceable and loving.  But I’m here to remind you that being in Community is anything but a simple practice of peace and love. It doesn’t matter how a group of Christians begin, it isn’t long before COMMunity and COMMunion becomes tangled and difficult.   

We are the craziest lot of creatures in all of God’s creation!  We obviously can’t seem to get along as isolated individuals.  We are invariably getting into groups like our lives depend on it.  And then, when we do get together, we can’t wait ten minutes before griping about it!  

Coming together for the act and practice of Communion is like getting 35 people to come together for a family photo at your reunion.  They do it, but they never even get to the spot in the backyard sunshine without complaint!  They smile, but you know they are remembering the time when somebody was rude or hurtful. And afterwards when they are looking at that photo, somebody’s bound to say:  “Oh, that is Uncle George and you remember what he did in 1978 don’t you?”  

If we learn nothing else from the invitation to celebrate Communion with 30 or so other people on Sunday morning at St. Johns, it ought to be this: It ought to be a reminder of the sacredness of our UNION.  All nature points to how interdependent we are with all other living beings in our universe and we must take it seriously in the institution that calls itself the Body of Christ.,  

We must take our union / unity seriously. The critical moments – the times when the caution light begins to flash are these:

  • When someone makes you angry
  • When someone experiences being marginalized
  • When someone gossips about someone else
  • When someone dismisses whole groups / ethnicities.
  • When discrimination happens
  • When you feel yourself becoming judgmental when you don’t know the whole story
  • When you begin to feel too comfortable with people just like you and too uneasy with those who are different.

The unity of the Spirit is a precious gift and one that must be constantly guarded and treasured.  “We are ONE in the Spirit.” Amen.

Pastor Don Crist