Given by Rev. Madison Shockley October 3, 2021

The sacrament of communion is described by Paul in this week’s reading. Through sacraments, we are able to experience the Divine. While some sacraments are done only once, communion is repeated. Since we make mistakes, this sacrament allows us to become right with God again. Communion is also an act of community. We serve each other and can see and feel the diversity of our congregation. The pandemic has taken this act of community away from us.  We will slowly reclaim this as the pandemic abates. There is a difference between the Catholic and Protestant sacrament of communion. The Catholics believe the cup has the blood of Christ while the Protestants believe the cup has wine or grape juice in it. Both used the same words though, blood and body of Christ. This “bloody liturgy” can turn some people off. The Catholics and Protestants wanted to carry on the ancient tradition by using these words. Some Protestants feel there are different words that still convey the love and connection of the people around the table with each other and God. Jesus used the common cup and passed it among everyone. It was the symbol of unity and equality. It was a cup of community. The contents of the cup did not matter. Blood played an important role in history. Its role has evolved. A shared meal brings everyone together. It heals wounds. It binds us. The cup holds mercy, forgiveness, love, and hope. Peace will then follow.