This is Part 2 of “The Communion” where we’ll explore more in depth what Christians mean by the phrase “communion of saints.”
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Communion of Saints
Christians confess to believe – in the Apostles’ Creed, that the Church is the communion of saints – communion being a word that originally meant “common” as it common faith, common belief.
So, we come together by faith. We come together in belief by Christ and His death and resurrection.
Fellowship with God Through Christ
When Jesus saved us, he brought us into fellowship with God, which we sometimes call reconciliation.
Jesus made us holy by His blood shed on the cross. Therefore, Lutheran Christians confess the Christian Church is holy in the Small Catechism of Martin Luther, in the question: Why is the church called “holy”?
So, the answer is: It is made up of holy people (saints), believers who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ and who serve God with holy living.
Fellowship with Each Other Through Christ
However, Christ brings us into fellowship with each other. We gather together around our common belief in Jesus and our common mission to tell others the Good News about Jesus.
So, when Christians gather together, we commonly call this the Church. You can find the Church wherever Christians gather.
Once again, the Small Catechism asks: Where is this holy Christian church to be found? The answer is: The holy Christian church is to be found where “the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel” (Augsburg Confession VII 1). The Gospel and the sacraments are called the “marks of the church.”
Furthermore, one manifestation of our common faith is in places where the Gospel is preached.
But an even closer, more intimate manifestation of our common faith is Holy Communion.
In Part 3 we’ll explore the fellowship that is in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Heavenly Father, your infinite love preserves those whom you have gathered. Pour out your tender mercy on your faithful people and bring us together into one flock under our Good Shepherd. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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