6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: World Communion Sunday Sermon.

Why Communion Matters

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer[a] for each person you have in your tent.’”

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.” Exodus 16:13-18

Intro: At a countywide gathering of local religious leaders, someone shouted: "The building is on fire!"

The Methodists gathered in the corner and began to discuss and debate the meaning of fire.

The Baptists yelled, "Where's the water?"

The Lutherans posted a notice on the door declaring fire to be evil.

The Episcopalians formed a processional and marched out of the building in decency and order.

The Catholics took pledges to cover the expenses of repairs after the fire.

The Christian church meditated on whether there really was a fire at all.

The Pentecostals praised God and shouted, "Holy Smoke!"

The Community Non-Denominationalist split into three groups went out and started three new churches.

On this first Sunday of October, Christians around the world will bow in elaborate cathedrals,

to open air meetings to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion.

We call it Worldwide Communion Sunday.

World Communion Sunday was started in 1940.

It was meant to be a way to unify denominations and people through celebrating things we have in common.

Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptist and some other groups began to promote the idea across their mission networks outside the United States so there would be more of a feel of worldwide Communion on that day.

It is an invitation for people of all classes and colors, backgrounds and beliefs, traditions and testimonies

to join hands and hearts in love and loyalty to Jesus Christ.

Welcome to the table of diversity.

So let me help us understand what tolerance is in our day.

We live in a difficult time in the life of the United Methodist Church.

As a church member you are challenged just as much as those of us who stand in the pulpit

to understand our beliefs

and share and teach them gently with love and compassion.

Tolerance is not believing what you want,

doing what you wish,

acting the way you choose

That's not belief.

Tolerance is being so sure of the power of God in Christ that you feel no threat from those who think otherwise.

Before I join a church, I would ask to know "Is everyone welcome at the table?"

Before I join a church I want to know “Are women full and equal to be pastors as God has called them to be."

Before I join a church I'd ask the question, “Are children valued as whole persons to be baptized?”

Before I join a church I'd want to know “Are other religions respected

and are the baptisms of other denominations accepted?"

Let us never forget at whose table we bow before today.

If this were an ordinary meal you could get more food at a back yard barbecue,

more excitement tailgating at a ball game,

and maybe even more fellowship.

But we come to participate in the Body and the Blood of Christ.

We come to profess our faith in salvation of the Cross,

to claim redemption of the resurrection,

to become one in Christ who has the power to make us one and unified with one another.

You see Christ does not become fragmented in us

rather we become unified in Him.

That is why Communion Matters.

Communion is the single must unifying action we do as believers.

Jesus knew that after the cross the disciples would be scared, scattered, and divided.

But he gave them a command: As often as you break this bread do so in remembrance of me.

In remembrance of what?

The sacrifice on the cross. Yes,

The resurrection from the tomb. Yes.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,

14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.

15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.

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