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That They be One

John 17: 6-10, 20-21, I Cor 11:23-26, Philippians 2:1-13

Pentecost 17A, Oct 1, 2023

World Communion Sunday

This Sunday, October 1, 2023, congregations around the globe will celebrate World Communion Sunday. According to the website of the National Council of Churches, World Communion Sunday began in 1936 in the Presbyterian Church and then adopted by the Federal Council of Churches (predecessor of the NCC) in 1940. Since then, the celebration has grown into an international ecumenical celebration of Christian unity.

This day has special significance among the members of First Christian Church, Warrensburg, Missouri. Alexander Campbell, a founder of the Disciples of Christ wrote: “As there is but one literal body, and but one mystical or figurative body having many members; so there must be but one loaf.” The apostle insists upon this, "Because there is one loaf, we, the many, are one body; for we are all partakers of that one loaf." ( 1 Cor. 10:17) For this reason, we believe that all Christians, whatever their tradition are, a part of the body of Christ. By definition then, all Christians are a part of Christ’s body. We are all of one body.

It is important we find a unity of spirit and come together to affirm our oneness in Christ, especially in this time when social and political divisions are so pronounced among us and we find ourselves separated by political ideology and ethical issues. We are one body. In the Crucifixion, Christ’s body was broken by the very same forces which divide us today. In the Resurrection the brokenness is healed and the body made one again.

On World Communion Sunday, most Christians are celebrating the rite of the Lord’s Supper. For this reason, it is of special significance that the whole body of Christ is together breaking the bread.

Join us this Sunday in one of our worship services as we break bread together on World Communion Sunday.


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