The Election Day Communion Campaign is frankly one of the most godly, brilliant, and desperately needed ideas I’ve seen in a very long time. God is in this! At a time when the ideological divisions of our society are deeper than they’ve ever been, I can’t imagine a more beautiful way for followers of Jesus to manifest the uniquely beautiful unity of a people who rally around the cross. And at a time when the Church of America has been significantly co-opted by its power-brokers, I can’t imagine a more powerful way for followers of Christ to remind ourselves that our Kingdom is “not of this world” and that our call is to follow in the footsteps of the King who laid his life for enemies.
I sincerely believe the Spirit is behind this communion celebration, and I pray that churches across America will yield to this call to participate in it.
Election Day Communion is a nice reminder that folks on the Left and the Right can meet at the cross, and that Republicans and Democrats are welcome by the Host of this party — and invited to eat from the same loaf and drink from the same cup.
Shane Claiborne is a bestselling author, Christian activist, and founding partner of The Simple Way.
For the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of how American politics shape the identity of many people who claim to be part of an alternative polis – the Kingdom of God. The more I reflect on this, the more I have to confront the ways in which I still put my hope in particular policies and politicians, whether explicitly or implicitly. The reality is that Jesus is the only president (King) worth voting for, not just in a ballot box, but in every moment of every day. This doesn’t mean voting is wrong, unless of course it becomes a primary source of hope. May Christ be our only hope!
With that in mind, I wholeheartedly endorse Election Day Communion. The holy eucharist is a dynamic sign to the kingdoms of the world (and to ourselves!) that our hope is in a political rebel, killed by the government of his day. God raised Messiah Jesus from the dead, showing the powers (both visible and invisible) that our true hope is in “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth…”
Justin Bronson Barringer
This idea is brilliant and beautiful.
Particularly so because it is something I need. I am quick to judge, and occasionally even have animosity toward folks who I perceive to be callous and selfish in their political ideology. But, eating and drinking Jesus with these sisters and brothers makes the plank sticking out of my eye ever more uncomfortable, and I know that I need them to help me remove it so that I can see the goodness of Jesus in each of their lives. And, I know I am not the only one.
Justin Bronson Barringer is the co-editor of A Faith Not Worth Fighting For.
As Catholics, we already celebrate communion every day as our one great hope of unity, the place where our Lord really and sacramentally meets us, a living reality much bigger than all of us, the holy mystery that miraculously holds us together. All the more reason to call to mind, especially on the day when (for those of us who are U.S. citizens) our political divisions will manifest themselves most directly, that we ‘meet at the same table, with the same host, to remember the same things.
When we differ over today’s hot issues we seem ever more inclined not to treat persons who hold different views as fellow pilgrims seeking, with us, to hear God’s voice amid our common finitudes and frailties. We seem ever less inclined to trust that God could be threaded through any view other than our own. Rather, we seem ever more ready to believe that if you hold a view other than mine you are my enemy. Maybe with so much alienation swirling, the one who is not my friend is, precisely, my enemy. But even if we accept such a troubling conclusion, [may we] ask what it means to love the opponents we have made our enemies.”
Michael King is the dean of Eastern Mennonite Seminary. The above quote was taken from the article “To ‘Mennonite’ when we’re each other’s enemies.”
The ancient ritual of communion has always been a counter-liturgy of sorts — a humble yet subversive statement that Jesus is Lord and not Caesar, that it is Jesus who nourishes and sustains us in ways political power never can. Jesus was often misunderstood because his contemporaries, even his own disciples, were looking for a political messiah. Today, with every election cycle, Christians on both sides of the political divide face a similar temptation: to put their faith in a false political messiah when the real thing has so much more to offer.
I love, love, LOVE Election Day Communion because it’s about bringing us back to our first love (Jesus), our first calling (proclaiming good news to the poor), and the first distinctive marker of the church (unity which supersedes all other divisions). It’s the body and blood of Christ rescuing us from the seductive idol of partisan politics.
A bunch of us are planning to celebrate communion together on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Most of us are tired of the polarized nature of our political discourse, and we are seeking to demonstrate that we can disagree with each other–even on political issues–and still come to Christ’s table as brothers and sisters who love each other more than the issue at hand.
Patrick Nafziger is co-pastor of Millersburg Mennonite Church in Ohio.
Communion makes sense for followers of Jesus on election day because in the communion experience we acknowledge our ultimate allegiance to God. My participation in communion on election day will be a reminder of my trust in God’s providential care for the outcome of the election while remaining actively engaged in the mission of being the people of God in an ever changing landscape of political, economic, and social realities.
Clyde Kratz is pastor of Zion Mennonite Church in Virginia.