Moment for Mission
“When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.’” — Exodus 16:15, NRSV
When God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, he sent them bread called manna. When the tempter came to Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus said, “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
In Scripture, Jesus also calls himself the “bread of life.” On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and said, “take, eat, this is my body.” God sustaining us with our daily bread, with the word of God, and with the presence and action of Jesus is central to our Christian faith. It is in the participating and receiving of Holy Communion that we find the culmination of God’s redemptive power through Jesus dwelling in us and among us.
Holy Communion is not unique to The United Methodist Church; it is a sacrament we share with other Christian churches. We remember this connection to the universal church when we observe World Communion Sunday alongside other Christians from other denominations in other parts of the world.
We observe World Communion Sunday on the first Sunday in October each year. In The United Methodist Church, we also recognize World Communion Sunday as one of our Special Sundays, when we take up a churchwide offering. The World Communion Sunday giving benefits World Communion Scholars, as well as Ethnic Scholarships and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.
Author and Sustainer of Life, you have created us, created the earth with food that sustains us. You have given us bread for our physical bodies and bread for our souls. Grant that we would be generous and support those who are called to share the good news of Jesus, the bread of life. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost – God, our Heavenly King, we rejoice that you invite everyone to a place of purpose in your kingdom. Through Christ, your Son, you give us a vision of the world as your vineyard, where each person can contribute the gifts you have given. Free us from envy and comparing our circumstances to others. Give us strength by your Spirit to live joyfully as generous servants of your realm. We present your tithes and our offerings with thanks and praise in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Matthew 20:1-16)
The meaning and understanding of Holy Communion across the history of the Christian church is not something that has been agreed upon. Some key differences split us along denominational lines. However, what we have in common is the action of participating in Holy Communion as a part of life in the body of Christ.
There is commonality in that we, the universal church, remember Jesus’ words with his disciples at the Last Supper. There is an understanding that in taking communion, we are connected with all believers who follow Christ. We celebrate this connection on the first Sunday in October each year on World Communion Sunday.
World Communion Sunday is one of six Special Sundays of The United Methodist Church. On these Sundays, The United Methodist Church collects a special offering across the denomination to support the work of the church. On World Communion Sunday, our offering goes toward World Communion Scholars and the Ethnic Scholarship and Ethnic-In Service Training programs.