Friday, August 12, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Sacrament of Holy Qurbana
Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas
St. Thomas MTC Yonkers, NY
"we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. "v.17

A four-year-old was in church when the wine and communion wafers were passed out. He was very interested in this, and started to get up. His mother leaned over and told him that he was not old enough to partake in the Communion.  Later, when the collection plate came by, he ignored it. His mother again leaned over and tried to coax the nickel out of him. He steadfastly refused, stating, “If I can’t eat, I’m not paying.”

Often times, we take part in the Holy Qurbana without truly understanding the depth of its meaning.  It is a divine experience where God blesses and reminds us of His sacrificial death, our salvation and the calling upon the faithful. 
Holy Qurbana, Commission to sacrifice:
The word “Qurbana” means offering.  In 1 Cor. 10:16 it says, “Is not the cup of thanksgiving…participation in the blood of Christ…”.  That is, to eat of the bread and drink of the cup is to participate in the sacrifice.  The shed blood and the broken body of Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of all humankind.  As such, when we participate in the Holy Qurbana we are reminded of His divine love and the commission to break ourselves for the life and nourishment of others.  It is in the breaking that others are fed through our lives.  It is a most practical but difficult message.  It is the commitment to deny oneself; to suffer loss for the gain of the other.  Qurbana is also a reminder that our lives and witness should never be about us and our dear ones alone but, that we are sent to be His body in the world.
Holy Qurbana, Call to unity:
It is perhaps common for us to see a sense of some unity amongst diversity in various nations and cultures throughout the world.  However, verse 17 of this passage speaks to a deeper sense of unity in that it states, “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body…”  The essence of unity here is not on finding a common ground of ideals or even a position of compromise.  Rather, it highlights that at the very core there is only one Body of which all the faithful are a part.  Regardless of racial, socio-political differences, we are all united in faith through Christ.  Therefore, just as spokes on a bicycle wheel, our relationship to each other is inherently bound in our relationship to Christ.  That is, unity is the call to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, as we grow in our relationship with others.  Society often dictates social positons and strata to divide, but Christ brings unity.  Next time, as you kneel down to receive the Holy Bread and Holy Wine look around and remember you are called to deeper relationship with those brothers and sisters as you grow in Christ.      


O Lord God, help us to testify the depth of Holy Qurbana as an invitation to remember our Savior and commitment towards unity in becoming a living sacrifice. Amen.  


The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

From a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.”