Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is one of the actions we do together as a church to be reminded of the basis of our faith and to unite us in the Holy Spirit. Physical distance is no barrier to God’s Spirit; He unites us wherever we are.
We celebrated communion on the same day that we honoured Pastor Mike's ministry at Runnymede-- are those two things connected? I would say yes.
The Greek name for Communion is eucharisto, which literally means "good gift" or "good grace", often translated as “great thanksgiving”. We remember God’s gift of Himself in Jesus Christ:
So we remember Jesus whenever we come to this table as God’s great gift – His grace toward us. “While we were still sinners [rebels, enemies of God] the Messiah died for us” (Romans 5:8). This is grace – God taking on Himself the proper consequence of our disobedience (i.e., death); Jesus is the good shepherd that laid down his life for the sheep. So we come to the table, remembering that this meal also symbolizes our response to God’s grace.
We use the word “pastor” to denote the role of leadership in a congregation; "pastor" is the Latin word for shepherd. Anyone who’s a leader in the church is an undershepherd – someone who is also following the Good Shepherd. To the extent that his life has been yielded to the Good Shepherd, Jesus, Mike has helped this flock, this congregation to grow. His ministry at Runnymede is part of the Grace and goodness of God to this faith community.
The reason we take communion isn't just to look back and remember what God has done for us in Jesus, but also to look around – these are the people we are called to love and serve – and to look ahead to when God will make all things new through Jesus, the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep.
Mike has followed that pattern and served this congregation, faithfully pointing us to Jesus. We are ultimately thankful for God’s grace in Jesus, and we can see Mike’s ministry as part of God’s good gift to us.
"For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again."
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NLT)