The Great Communion in the context of Jesus’ ministry, invokes images of peace and camaraderie—- a brief moment of togetherness in a transforming world that would soon be shaken by the trial and crucifixion of Christ. But not this day. Amidst the chaos, Jesus and his Disciples paused, broke bread together, and simply enjoyed the company of one another. What a beautiful image—, but it wasn’t always this way.
Just a few chapters earlier in the Gospel of Mark, just after the transfiguration, the Disciples found themselves in turmoil. They lamented at their inability to heal a boy with an unclean spirit and found themselves debating with one another about who was the greatest Disciple. So entrenched in this debate, the Disciples shrugged off an important pronouncement from Jesus— - that he would soon be arrested, killed, and rise again, ushering in a new world marked with radical love and hospitality. But the Disciples couldn’t hear the good news. They just kept debating about who was the greatest.
Frustrated, Jesus intervenes. We read in Mark 9:36-37, “‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child in his arms, and said to the Disciples: ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’”
We are all children of God. All of us. No matter how many times we forget, Jesus will remind us. Our job as modern-day disciples is not to debate, but to heal, ourselves and each other. May it be our goal to follow the example of Christ— - each of us putting the first last and the last first in joyful celebration of the grace and love bestowed upon all of God’s children.
All throughout the Gospels, we read of Jesus’ Last Supper with the 12 Disciples. The Passover banquet was held in memory of the Children of Israel’s liberation from the slavery of Egypt. During that meal, we are introduced to the incredibly centering tradition of Communion. What is wildly profound about Jesus’ table-centered exchange of bread and wine was that it commemorated a new liberation, this one intended for all of God’s children.
We invite you to The Great Communion where we share our stories side-by-side. Our stories are not representative of the entire spectrum. We are actively pursuing offerings that reflect different journeys and perspectives, including offerings from our Side B siblings. We hope our initial stories will act as a catalyst for a longer conversation in the community that will ultimately transcend dividing lines.