This coming Sunday October 4th is World Wide Communion Sunday. On this Sunday Christian Churches all around the world celebrate communion and are aware that we are all together around the world. In some ways it is a breathtaking moment. So this Sunday we will remember Christians around the world. In some places, being Christian is a life and death choice. In other areas Christianity is the dominant religion and pretty safe (some would say complacent). And yet in other places, Christianity is simply one of the pathways to God that everyone knows about. In many of those places different faiths work hard to get along, understand and respect each other.
When I was in ministry in British Columbia, I realized that Christianity was one of the choices. I saw that not only the three main faiths – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – were well represented, but also Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha’i, Aboriginal Spirituality Jainism, Shinto, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism and so many others. This also included New Age and Non- Religious and Atheism. It was a very rich environment when we consider all the ways in which God speaks to God’s people.
Sad to say, the greatest conflicts often came not from struggles between different faiths but from within Christianity itself and all our different denominations.
I invite you to do a couple of things. One is to try and understand the power and beauty of religion without resorting to stereotypes. That is, spend some time reading or experiencing what different religions are about. Read the newspaper or internet news, or television or radio news about religion with an open mind. Second, come to church this week, wherever you are, and take communion, thinking of and praying for Christians around the world – especially in Syria, Eritrea, Egypt, and other places where Christianity is under threat – and pray for all people of other faiths. Maybe with prayer, which we all say we do well, peace and harmony will break out.
Shalom, Ashanti, Salaam, Peace my brothers and sisters.
See you Sunday. Boyd