I have heard mention again recently about the flat earthers who are proponents that continue to exist, and they insist that the world is limited, linear, and finite. That the horizon is the end of what is. That there is an abrupt and rigid edge to the earth. That the world is truly flat.
Likewise, I recently heard someone speak of the Apollo 8 mission and witness. They spoke of the spaceship orbiting the moon and passing around the dark side of the moon. When the rocket capsule emerged and headed back to earth the astronauts had their initial view of the planet earth from the moon. As they did so, they expressed and attested to the fact that it was overwhelming in the moment to see our planet from such a vantage point. They were in awe. They were dumbstruck as they viewed our world for the first time from such a place in the heavens. They said that it was sensational.
We are told that when the astronauts of the Apollo 8 emerged from the dark side of the moon they described a cognitive shift in awareness after seeing our planet "hanging in the void."
Modern Scientists tell us that:
“This state of mental clarity, called the "overview effect", occurs when you are flung so far away from Earth that you become totally overwhelmed and awed by the fragility and unity of life on our blue globe. It's the uncanny sense of understanding the "big picture", and of feeling connected yet bigger than the intricate processes bubbling on Earth.”
World Communion Sunday recognizes and emphasizes that we are not alone in our belief and faith in Jesus Christ. That as the author of Hebrews reminds us, “we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.” We know that these are witnesses to the faith that encourage us, enliven us, and sustain us.
The Greek word for cloud here is “nephos” which means a great mass of clouds.
There is a sense that we are under the heavens, all of us wherever we are. We share the same sky. We exist on the same earth.
So it is that we share the same faith in Jesus Christ with those of other nations and in other lands who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It is appropriate on the first Sunday in October to realize this shared faith with our brothers and sisters around the world.
As we come to the table this Sunday, whether we come in our homes or in our sanctuary, we come to the table that is prepared and spread for us. Therefore, let us relish the fact that we are joined by kindred members of the faith throughout the world. Let us remember that when we sit down at this table, we, even like the disciples were, are joined by all those throughout the ages and around the earth that rejoice in the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For on the very night he was betrayed Jesus and his disciples gathered together in the upper room. And, as they sat down, Jesus took the bread and gave thanks. Then he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples and said: "This is my body broken for you, do this in remembrance of me."
And when they had finished supper, Jesus took the cup and after again giving thanks, he poured it and gave it to his disciples and said: "This is the cup of the new covenant sealed in my blood for the forgiveness of sins as often as you drink of it you show forth my death until I come again."
So, let us take the bread and drink from this cup this Sunday and rejoice in the saving love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.