This upcoming weekend is World Communion Sunday (WCS). Christians around the world and we at Friends will partake in the holy sacrament with one another. We will take the bread and eat it. We will take the wine or juice and drink it. Remembering Christ as we do so. I think the amazing thing about WCS is the reminder that Christianity spans the globe, and spans time.
Last year on WCS, I presided over communion by myself for the first time. That doesn’t usually happen until you are ordained, but I got special permission because of extenuating circumstances. I was really nervous to lead it, especially because I found out I was doing it last minute. Despite how many times I’d taken communion, heard the Words of Institution (the script us clergy get from Scripture), or even blessed the meal with someone else, I felt like I had never been to church in my life as I stood up there about to start the blessing.
Looking back at it, I’m not sure where my fear came from. I knew that the main thing I needed to say was fairly simple; the rest I could leave out entirely and still be fine. I think I was primarily worried I would offend someone by saying the wrong thing or desecrate their favorite practice. I wasn’t worried I would embarrass myself or upset God. It was the people depending on me to share this meal with them that I did not want to let down.
My friend Rene has a saying that I think about often, “It’s just church.” He’s right in a lot of ways. While I do take church seriously and believe it can provide so much good for our spirits and our lives, taking church too seriously isn’t good either. Rene’s statement often reminds me that at the end of the day, I am only human. I can only try to be a good vessel for the Spirit to work through. But the Spirit will move if She wants to move.
WCS is about reminding us that we are part of a bigger picture. We are all just trying to invoke the Spirit and give God praise in the best ways we know how. We might not get the words right. We might let someone down if we mess up. But the Spirit will keep moving – in our hearts, in our churches, in our communities, and in the world.