Yesterday Norma Jean and I enjoyed communion with the brethren in Wellandport, Ontario, Canada, where we will be based for the summer.
We typically use the word “communion” to refer to the Lord’s supper, as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 10:16. While the procedure for the communion service is a bit different with the Canadian brethren, the message and meaning was unchanged.
We were reminded of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. We ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine. We solemnly and silently engaged in personal reflection and remembrance of what Jesus means to us. How his sacrifice has impacted us. And why we are His followers.
Communion is a special time to share with God’s people regardless of the geographical location. Or the size of the congregation. Or the process by which it is served.
However, I am reflecting on our communion this morning in a much broader sense. The word “communion” is from the same Greek word translated “fellowship.” Various forms of the word “Koinonia” are translated distribute, partner, partaker, communicate, and companion.
Our communion with these fine brethren is greater than the time spent partaking of the Lord’s supper. It is not just being in the same service. Or singing together. Or contributing into the common treasury. Or even prayer. Although, it is all of these. But it is more.
Communion is enjoying divine association because of our commonality in Christ. Our partnership in the gospel. Our fellowship of faith. Communion is sharing together our hopes. Our dreams. Our eternal aspirations. Our lives.
This communion of heart and soul characterized the first century Christians in Jerusalem. Dr. Luke records it with these words.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Ax 2:42-47).
Communion is contributing to the needs of the saints and practicing hospitality. (Rom 12:13)
Communion is sharing your faith. (Phile 6)
Communion is enjoying divine association with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:9; 2 Cor 13:14)
Communion is walking together in the light of the Lord and receiving cleansing from our sins (1 John 1:7)
Communion is weeping with those that weep; and rejoicing with those that rejoice (Rom 12:15).
Communion is sharing the suffering of Christ together while knowing we will be partakers together of His glory (1 Pet 5:1).
Communion is hugs and handshakes and even a “holy kiss.”
Communion is companionship at potlucks. Eating a meal together. Or enjoying a gelato treat after church. And engaging in stimulating conversation.
Communion in Christ is traveling to another country and being warmly received by brethren with the “right hand of fellowship.” And being welcomed as a partner in the gospel.
Our hearts are full as we thank God for the brotherhood of Believers that encourages, edifies and sustains us with a special communion that we share in Christ.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman