"Red Week One" - Daily Reflection - Wednesday October 7, 2015


This is the third entry in a series of daily devotions that I am writing to support my church's October sermon series: "Red: Understanding The Hard Sayings of Jesus." 

Have you ever wondered why we call The Lord's Supper by so many different names? 

Some Christian communities (like mine, for example) refer to it as Holy Communion, which comes from the Greek word koinonia, which roughly translated means "the sharing" or "holy community."  

Some call it the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek word eucharisto, which is what Jesus did when he broke the bread during the Last Supper--he thanked God for it.  

Some call it the Mass, which comes from the words often used at the end of the meal: "Go--you are sent out."  The Latin for this phrase is "ite--missa est," which over time transformed into the word 'Mass.'

So, which is the "right" word to use?  This is a question I get quite often.  I think a better question (If I can answer a question with a question) is: "Why do we have to pick only one?"  

When we share the bread and the cup in worship, we do so as a community, a family.  It draws us together.  We are reminded that we are not alone, that there are people on the journey with us.  This is the essence of what it means to have "Holy Communion."   

But we also feel should grateful when eat the bread and drink from the cup.  It should remind us that Jesus was broken and poured out for us, so we could be made whole.  This is the essence of experiencing the "Eucharist"--the meal of thanksgiving. 

And we should definitely know that we are "sent" people.  We are called not to remain within the four walls of our sanctuaries, but to go out into the world to proclaim the Good News that sin and death do not get to win.  Which means that we should have no problems declaring that we are celebrating the "Mass" since we are people on a mission.  

The next time you have the opportunity to celebrate the Lord's Supper in your community of faith, take a moment before you do, and remember that you are not alone, you are part of the community of Christ.  Remember the great love that Jesus has for you and be deeply grateful.  And remember that you are called to be a witness to the wider world of Jesus and his saving work.  

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