In A Nutshell | February 5, 2021

Let Us Break Bread Together

Celebrating communion on the first Sunday of each month is a sacred and
longstanding tradition at Oak Chapel and many other churches across the country and
around the world. It is a deeply personal sacrament that unites us as one with Christ.

I had forgotten just how intimate communion was intended to be until I reread a
passage from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John in which Jesus said to those who
had gathered with him while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, “Very
truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have
no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will
raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

I can’t imagine what his followers were thinking when they heard this. Eat the
flesh and drink the blood of the one we follow? Did he really mean this in a literal
sense? No, but the elements of bread and wine would serve as a surrogate for his body
and blood, so that whoever eats and drinks in this sacred ritual, Jesus said, “remains in
me, and I in them.”
In other words, the sacrament of communion unites us with Christ in a way that
we are actually in him and he is in us. We really can’t become any more united or
intimate than that.

Jesus goes on to say, “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the
Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came
down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this
bread will live forever.”

Jesus was obviously quite serious about the sacredness and solemnity of
communion, and so are we here at Oak Chapel. In keeping with the tenets of the United
Methodist Church, we place no restrictions on the distribution of communion. All are
welcome and encouraged to participate.

Even this deadly pandemic has failed to undermine our efforts to share Christ’s
body and blood. For those who worship in the sanctuary or in the parking lot, we have
communion kits that include the wafer (symbolic of Christ’s body) and the juice
(emblematic of His Blood).

We invite and encourage you to commune with us as we share the sacrament
this Sunday. If you will be home, feel free to prepare your own elements with bread or
crackers and juice. We would also be happy to deliver some of our communion kits to
your home, so that you will have a supply until you are ready to rejoin us in the
sanctuary. If you are interested, please contact me at 330-988-2577 or, and I will deliver the kits directly to you (at no charge, of course).

Communion is an all-inclusive sacred celebration at Oak Chapel, whether you
are there in person or online. Let us all break bread together this Sunday.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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