As a congregation over the last two months we have had to practice social distancing for our own health and safety, and for others. This has meant we have not been able to gather in fellowship or sit side by side as a community of faith. I praise God for the way you have embraced online worship and the ongoing support of the mission and ministry of HPCUMC. We are the Body of Christ!
There are two sacraments we practice in the United Methodist Church. They are Baptism and Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper, Eucharist). As a community of faith, through these sacraments, we experience the mystery of God’s grace in its fullest form. We are connected through the power of the Holy Spirit in these sacred moments in worship. We are the Body of Christ!
Because of the COVID-19 virus we have not had the opportunity to gather in worship to celebrate holy communion as a congregation. Bishop Palmer knows the importance of the rich ritual tradition of the church in sharing this communal meal. Therefore, under this extreme situation, he is giving pastors the authority to consecrate the elements, thus extending the table from the sanctuary worship space into our homes.
The Lord’s Supper reminds us that Jesus Christ is the host and that we participate in Christ’s invitation. We are invited to the table as participates in remembering Jesus ate with his disciples the night before his crucifixion. He broke bread and shared the cup at the table. The bread reminds of us his broken body and the juice reminds us of his shed blood.
In communion God’s mercy, love, and grace is being poured out. We experience his holy presence and the assurance of pardon and forgiveness. When we gather at this table we are “remembering” him, and all those who have gone before us. At the same time, through the Holy Spirit, we are also “re-membered,” or being made whole again individually and communally. We are the Body of Christ!
This Sunday I also look forward to bringing the final message of our “It Is Well” sermon series. The focus will be on “Wisdom.”
See you soon, live and online!