Summary: Worldwide communion Sunday is a celebration of our shared heritage and the universal hope which beckons the church forward toward universal fellowship in the everlasting homeland to which we are being called. Do not fear to move forward!
Title: “If What is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious”
Text: 2 Corinthians 3:2-11, 17-18
From far and wide, on this day of World Communion, the descendants of the spiritual founders of the Christian Church, have gathered again this year to remember, give thanks, celebrate our common heritage, and renew our world-wide connection. Believers have gathered today at diverse points of the compass, members of diverse church families, celebrating communion in diverse ways, and yet all are drawn to this our Lord’s table, as invited guests and friends. On this day we are reminded that we are all part of the Lord’s family.
Year after year we are drawn to this celebration of our common world-wide heritage acknowledging a shared spiritual identity springing from deep within the soul of every Christian. This is a rare and precious thing in our world today—this sense of community that draws us together throughout the world on this day. It is rare and precious because and something to be preserved because the world in which we live today, is each day becoming more secular, more divided and cut off from our shared humanity.
The tie that pulls us ever and again to this table is a blessing, a precious gift from our Heavenly Father, for you are not only children and grandchildren and great grandchildren of this congregation, you are also children of the Heavenly Father. And the blessing of this tie that binds is actually apparent each and every Sunday when we reassemble at this place renewing our fellowship and giving testimony of our love for the Lord.
Perhaps this great blessing has come to you as individuals because of the prayers and faith of your parents and grandparents, or because of the prayers and faith of friends and family, or because of the prayers and faith of earlier members of this congregation, and most certainly because of the prayers and faith of the saints that came before us extending back to Peter, Paul and James and all of the holy apostles—each having guided and shaped the founding of our world-wide Christian family.
Each of us has been blessed in a wonderful way because of their great faithfulness. And you are a blessing to others today because of your great faithfulness. But there is far more to the story than the blessing of being a part of our own congregation, for this our church family as dear to you as it must be, is but a small part of the eternal family for which every Spirit-filled heart longs—the family of Christians from every corner of the globe, from earliest times will someday very soon be reunited in heaven.
Today we celebrate a wonderful and important day of world-wide church fellowship. But there is an even more wonderful time of fellowship that lies ahead of us. It is the heavenly reunion, a great and permanent gathering of all those who have accepted God’s plan of salvation. Whosoever believes in Him, whoever bows at this timeless table and in so doing acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, shall not perish but have everlasting life. And this everlasting life will be in reunion with the entire Church family of diverse lands, diverse customs, and diverse times to which you are being drawn today and invited to be a part.
In the book of Hebrews Chapter 11, verses 13-15 we read an account representative of our spiritual ancestors. They are remembered and celebrated in this his chapter of the Bible with these words: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Because of your faith, you are drawn here to this table in this physical building today. But your heart must not remain here in this building with only those familiar faces to which we have grown comfortable. Each of us must look forward to another celebration, to another congregation, to a far greater reunion in an even better place, that is, our heavenly homeland. For you see, we too, like the Hebrews and Israelites of Old Testament days, are wanderers and sojourners in a time and place which we instinctively, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, know to not be our permanent home, but rather only a temporary one. We are being led each day to the homeland of the heart. For this may God be praised!