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A Reflection on In-Home Communion

A reflection from DHPC Intern on Home Communion, which was most recently served during Advent.

            Every Sunday when Pastor Shelli invites us, the congregation, to the table she says, “This is not a Presbyterian table. This is the Lord’s table. All are welcome.” But how do we know that all are welcome? It is because the same Jesus who said, “Do this is remembrance of me,” (Luke 22:19) also ate at table with tax collectors and prostitutes (Mark 2, Luke 11,14,19), as well as his family and friends. Instead of evangelizing, lecturing, or ignoring, Jesus ate with those around him, shared table with them, looked them in their eyes and had conversation with them. From all different walks of life, many looked Grace itself right in the face across an ordinary table set with ordinary food. That relational, radical grace that Jesus demonstrated in eating with those from all walks of life, including his enemies, is how we know all are welcome at the Lord’s table.

As disciples of Christ, we then are charged and challenged by Jesus’ example. We are charged to make all feel welcome at the Lord’s table, to not withhold what is the Lord’s from any, and to remind each other of God’s grace that covers us all. This is the gift of in-home communion! It is an opportunity to practice the radical welcome of the Lord’s table, by purposefully including those who are unable to gather with the worshipping congregation. This is a powerful sign that the sacramental meal is truly meant for all, the young and old, able and disabled, faithful and doubting.

The power of the table and the meal is found within the community it is shared. The presence of Christ during communion is found through the relationships in the congregation: between Christ and each member, between Christ and the congregation, and between us to each other. Therefore, it must be with and through their community that home-bound members take communion. Our congregation sent ten of its members out to give communion during the Advent season, and many felt the powerful presence of Christ in those moments of conversation and sacrament with another congregation member they may not have even met before that afternoon. We are looking forward to organizing in-home communion again in the spring. In the meantime, look for other ways we can practice Jesus’ radical welcome and grace in and through our congregation. Thanks be to God for God’s gifts of table, friendship, and community!