When the disciples gathered with Jesus for the Passover meal, Jesus surprised them by washing their feet as if he were their servant. It didn’t seem right. That wasn’t what their Messiah should be doing. Then, as they were eating and praying, Jesus changed the traditional words and told them that every time they shared the bread and drank the wine, they should remember him.
And there was that time Jesus asked the disciples to feed all those people on the hillside who had come to hear him speak. Not only did they have to share their friend with all those unknown crowds of people, but feed them as well. Amazingly they were all fed, with some food left over! Oh, yes, they remembered that day. It changed their hearts and minds forever.
For the disciples, Jesus was their whole world. But he never allowed that world to remain small. He showed them time after time how God loved the whole world.
I remember going to Athens to clean a refugee camp and being invited to sit down with a Muslim family to share their crackers and juice in gratitude for our help. I didn’t expect that. I remember my husband traveling in China and eating with a tour group who came from all over and were sharing their stories around a Lazy Susan filled with exotic and unknown delicious treats. That changed him. I remember my housekeeper who went to Guatemala this summer to visit her family and how her three young daughters told her that they wanted to leave their full suitcases for their cousins who had so little. And they did.
Each time I remember, my heart becomes softer and my mind is less narrow.
So, this World Communion Sunday I will receive communion with a wider vision. I will bring my memories with me and I will do it in remembrance of Jesus who, as Dr. Pace reminds us, bears witness to the love of God in this world. May we all do so as well so that those to whom love is a stranger will find in us generous friends.