We shouldn't be surprised that communion renewed and restored was one of the great results of the church being born on that first Pentecost after Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension. As thousands believed and were baptized, the Lord brought them into a new community of genuine fellowship. This communion fellowship involved meeting as a big group and experiencing God's grace and power together—notice that in the early chapters of the book of Acts the Christians had boisterous and exciting meetings together in the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem! It also involved meetings in homes as they shared more intimate times with other believers around the “breaking of bread.” No wonder the people were amazed at them and viewed them favorably in those early days. What seemed so lost for so long was now being restored by the Spirit!
Luke described this communion with these words: “All the believers were together and had all things in common.” This definition remains still as the ideal for Christian communion, community, comradery, intimacy, partnership, and union today. Those early days of the Church's life provide us the powerful reminder of what we not only need in our church life today, but also what we must pursue as a Church. More than people meeting in their isolated silences on Sunday, church must be a place of warmth, inclusion, shared lives, and genuine fellowship and companionship. I think we generally do this well at St. Aidan—because we know that without this comradery we may remain isolated and alone. I say, though, that there is always room for improvement—never ending improvements—as we pursue the communion/union in God that we have together.
God made us for this kind of loving relationship: real, genuine, share-our-lives-with-others friendship. While this friendship may involve our participation in a big worship experience, it most definitely must involve our participation in smaller gatherings where people know us, love us, and we share our lives as well as our meals together.
God made us with a need for communion with each other (remember: no person is an island!) and He has called us into His forever family to have that need met here at St. Aidan. Don't settle for merely going to church and gathering with a bunch of strangers, but search until you find a place in this Community, a group, a gathering, a commission, or a ministry—and find people where life is shared and fellowship, friendship and communion is restored—this is the message of Pentecost!
Just a Note: Many thanks to all of our Music Ministry Ensembles and members (The Adult Choir, the Youth Choir, the Contemporary Group, instrumentalists and cantors) for a wonderful and fulfilling 2021-2022 season! We are resting—but some members will occasionally return to lead our song in praise of God (Sometimes Summer Singers)—as we don’t just disappear from our commitment to St. Aidan. If you think you might be interested in joining our Music Ministry—vocalists or instrumentalists—come and see me after any weekend Mass. Music for the glory of God is wonderful, fulfilling and hard work—but so worth it! Keep singing!