A congregation of the United Church of Canada
September 29, 2021
I absolutely love discovering new praise songs! As I was preparing for worship this coming Sunday I couldn’t find any songs in our repertoire that said what I wanted them to say. So, that leaves two options: write one, or find one. This week I took door number two, and I went hunting. Interestingly, it was actually a pretty difficult task. Most praise and worship style music comes from our more charismatic or evangelical siblings in Christ. They tend not to emphasize the typical liturgical aspects of the mainline church (like us). So while the ‘last supper’ may feature prominently in their theological expressions and discourse, the actual act of celebrating communion is not as prominent. That means there are not that many praise songs about communion, and when they’re written they tend to talk a lot about the ‘blood of Jesus’ – which is all well and good, and I can certainly find deep ways to interpret that – but as an image to sing about it’s hard (for me) to do without wanting to unpack it.
So I hunted, and hunted – and then I found it. My mistake was searching too narrowly. Using the word ‘communion’ in a search for songs by churches that don’t make a big deal about communion is kinda foolish. Then I started to use other words that I’d associate with communion – bread, wine, sacrament, and in the end the one that worked, table. I found a praise song about inviting people to Jesus’ table! It’s called ‘The Table’ by an artist that I quite like, Chris Tomlin, but I hadn’t heard the song before. Now I have it on auto-repeat on my music player! And if you tune into worship this Sunday (livestreamed on YouTube at 10:30 am) you’ll get to hear it and sing it too!
That’s our focus this week. Communion. It’s World Communion Sunday, so I’m inviting you to think and reflect about something that we do every month in church.
Why do we do that? Why is communion important?
What are your fondest memories of communion? Do you have one or two that stick out in your mind?
Because of Covid and not being able to be physically together we’re doing communion at home on our own (although still together) now. What do you like about that? What do you miss?
When you eat the bread and drink the wine/juice, what happens for you? How does it make you feel?
How do you feel about the words ‘body and blood’?
Has your theology of communion evolved over the years? How/Why?
I hope you enjoy reflecting on those questions, and I hope you’ll enjoy the new song. I can’t wait to share it with you. Come to the table!