Sunday was a very busy day. Whew.
Karen asked “Where is Jesus?” , we welcomed new members, it was Ascension Sunday and we celebrated communion.
Welcoming new members is always one of my favourite things. An opportunity to widen our family, to see the joy of new fellowship and a new home for their spiritual and faith journey. We were blessed to have a diverse group of new members, whose different cultural backgrounds can not but help our congregation grow.
Our time of fellowship afterwards is a chance to meet and greet them so nothing better than sharing cake and conversation. The fellowship is of course directly related to the idea of breaking bread with family and friends and pours out in our remembrance of Jesus and the disciples who at the end broke bread together sharing one last time together, reinforcing the bonds of faith and lessons they had learned.
Early Christians celebrated the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, but by the third century, it had ceased to be a banquet and had become a ritualized small meal instead.
Early Christians participated in meals characterized by inclusivity, care for one another and unity (Acts 2:43–47; cf. Acts 6:1–7). But as Paul’s letters indicate, these idealistic practices at the Lord’s Supper sometimes became abused because Christians either practiced Jewish purity laws at the table (e.g., considering what types of foods were appropriate to consume), or they transformed the meal into a gathering modeled after Greco-Roman banquets by drinking too much wine (Galatians 2:11–14; cf. Romans 14–15; 1 Corinthians 11:17–34).
When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
So it was is it was with us that a family gathers to remember the teachings of the Lord and the sacrifice made on our behalf. We do this regularly but when new family members are brought in it makes the remembrance that much more special.
In fact St. Paul made that very point.
1 Corinthians 11: 33-34
33 So then, my brothers and sisters,[a] when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If you are hungry, eat at home, so that when you come together, it will not be for your condemnation.
Blessed are we to share our faith with one another and to welcome new members to our family of faith.