I just ended a weekend men’s conference at The Cove in Ashville, NC. I enjoyed a wonderful weekend of fellowship with my dad and another gentleman from the church I grew up in. The music was wonderful and the messages were encouraging; but none of that was the highlight of the weekend. The highlight was the Eucharist that we all partook of at the conclusion of the 3 day retreat. The drama we all lived out in that moment was phenomenal. It was something I had never experienced before as I partook of communion.
This group of men was different than other meetings I had been a part of. We were from various denominational traditions: Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, Methodists, and Episcopalian (these were the one’s I was aware of). There were men of various race. There were Calvinists and Arminians. There were premillennialists, pre-tribulationalists, and amillennialists (perhaps even other eschatological positions, but I was not aware of them). This was the most diverse gathering I had been a part of and as I partook of the elements I watch them being shared from one person to another. The Baptist sharing the symbols of the body and blood of Jesus with the Methodist, the Methodist with 7th Day Adventist, the 7th Day Adventist with the Episcopalian, etc. The elements passed right through denominational barriers! In that moment we were all acting out the unity The Messiah has brought. There was no Jew or Greek, Baptist or Methodist; there was just children of God. I was overwhelmed at the grace I saw being lived out in this meal!
Then how the elements were served was the second thing that I observed. We were all equal, those we served the majority of men were then served by the men who were leading throughout the retreat weekend. The division of leader and servant were obliterated! There is no bond or free (master/servant) there was just children of God.
What I was a part of there was the family of God being a family. I witnessed at that moment, through that meal, unity in The Messiah. And at that moment, in that New Covenant meal, Jesus was very present!