October 7: World Communion Sunday
lam19The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
20My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
21But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,*
his mercies never come to an end;
23they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
25The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
26It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
2 Timothy 1.5-14
67I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. *1314 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.91011
Both of these texts speak of trust and hope–to put one’s trust and one’s hope in the LORD is to put it in a good place, we can be sure that God is able to guard whatever we “entrust to him.” How can we be so sure?
Well, it seems that this trust, this hope, may be born from the humility that often comes from suffering. When we have to truly rely on God, we discover just how trustworthy God is.
Now, few of us have suffered the way the people of the early church suffered, or the way the writer of Lamentations has suffered. But each of us knows suffering in some way–it’s part of the human condition. Many in the world suffer in different ways and for different reasons (or “reasons”).
On this World Communion Sunday, we have the opportunity to be in solidarity, in community, with people around the world. We place our trust and hope in one Lord, we celebrate one Communion meal, we are family through our one baptism. God’s steadfast love is for each of us, God’s mercies are new every morning here and in Asia and in Africa and in South America, shining and gifting us with the love and power of the Holy Spirit. That is indeed a good treasure, one worth guarding.