One Bread, One Cup, One Body

posted Sep 30, 2022, 6:16 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,

Grace and peace to you in this season of Ordinary Time!

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread (1 Corinthians 10.16-17).

This Sunday is World Communion Sunday, a moment in the liturgical year when we participate with people of faith around the globe, all gathering around the Lord’s Table to reflect the beautiful diversity of God’s people and creation, and the unity of the body of Christ. What a wonderful illustration for potential peace in our world!

Each time we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, I pray this prayer, called the epiclesis, “Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” This prayer is a call for the Holy Spirit to be present in the supper. It is also a call for the unity of the Church Universal; a call for what Jesus prayed for us, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (John 17.20-23).

As we gather for worship this Sunday in person or on Facebook Live may we be reminded of Jesus’ prayer for unity so that the world may know of his love for all people through our witness. The Joyful Noise Adult Choir will sing “He Cares for Me” for the Anthem. You will hear some of our liturgy and songs in different languages to reflect the diversity-in-unity of the body of Christ. I will be preaching from 2 Timothy 1.1-14 and my sermon title is I Know Whom I Have Believed. After we have been fed at God’s table, we will continue the feast at our First Sunday Brunch in the Education Building. A free-will offering will be taken there to support the ministries of the church.

Come, let us worship God!

In gratitude for the joy of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish