Tuesday, September 27, 2005

World Communion Sunday

This coming Sunday is World Communion Sunday, when we celebrate communion with Christian brothers and sisters around the globe. The lectionary is being a little difficult.

Wedged in between two passages on vineyards is Philippians 3:4b-14, which I thought I'd be preaching on. Paul declares that 'Christ has made me his own.' 'Made me his own,' more appropriately, can be translated 'seized' or 'captured.' The KJV says 'apprehended.' For Paul, Christ initiated a new relationship, a new way of being for him. Paul didn't start it, Christ did. Chalk up a point for the Calvinists. Heh.

Anyway, how this can be related to World Communion is less clear. Certainly there are Christians around the world who have experienced such a conversion, Christ seizing them somehow, Christ compelling them in a non-exorcism sense to live in a new way. That can happen at the table as we fellowship with one another. Even moreso, it can happen as we partake with brothers and sisters from around the world. We partake with a Mexican Christian from the Texas border, view her wooden shack, and are seized to support her. An Israeli Christian and a Palestinian Christian turn to one another and are seized to work together for peace. An inner city St. Louisian partakes with a suburbanite from Beverly Hills and the two are seized to new relationship to understand, appreciate, and love one another. Christ seizes us to make the goal our own, to follow him, to take part in the great drama of human existence and seek the kingdom in corners of the world strange and different from our own.

All right, something's percolating now.