What does communion mean? According to the tenth edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary communion means: “mutual participation; the act or instance of sharing; intimate fellowship or rapport. A Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the communicant.”
Derivatives of communion are:
• Commune, which means “to communicate intimately;” communicate means “to share, to transmit information, thought or feeling, so that it is satisfactorily received or understood. To open into each other; to connect.”
• Community, which means “a unified body of individuals; a body of individuals having something in common. A fellowship.”
Jesus communed and communicated with his apostles daily, and he lived in community with them. In this closeness of living with the apostles, Jesus showed them how he lived his life moment to moment in communion with God. In his teaching them, Jesus sought to divert the minds of his apostles from glory and “miracle seeking to the finding of a real and personal experience in the satisfaction and assurance of the indwelling of God’s spirit of love and saving grace.” [The URANTIA Book, Paper 138, Section 8, Paragraph 8] In other words, Jesus taught and lived that the most important thing about an individual’s religion was his or her personal relationship with God and then how we live with and love others.
Communion with each one of the apostles and with them as a group began from the time that Jesus began to live in community with them. We are told in Paper 138, Section 8, Paragraph 9 of The URANTIA Book: “Nothing ever seemed so important to Jesus as the individual human who chanced to be in his immediate presence. He was master and teacher, but he was more. He was also a friend and neighbor and understanding comrade.”
Comrade means: “an intimate friend or associate. A companion, a fellow soldier.” The URANTIA Book indicates that from the beginning days of the apostles uniting with Jesus, they continued to be disappointed, confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, and puzzled with many of Jesus’ teachings and his decisions. But in spite of this, all apostles except Judas stayed with Jesus until the end because of their love of him as a person.
In those early days with Jesus, Matthew said about their Master, “The more you understand some people, the less you admire them, but of this man, even the less I comprehend him, the more I love him.” [The URANTIA Book, Paper 138, Section 7, Paragraph 6]
Again in Paper 138, Section 9, Paragraph 1 of The URANTIA Book, we are told:
With all of their grumblings, doubts, and transient dissatisfactions, the apostles remained true to their vows of devotion and loyalty to the Master. It was their personal association with Jesus during these months of testing that so endeared him to them, that they all, save Judas Iscariot, remained loyal and true to him. Even in the dark hours of the trial and crucifixion, real men simply could not actually desert a revered teacher who had lived so close to them and had been so devoted to them as had Jesus. Through the dark hours of the Master’s death, in the hearts of these apostles, all reason, judgment and logic were set aside in deference to just one extraordinary human emotion, the supreme sentiment of friendship loyalty. These first five months of work with Jesus led these apostles, each one of them, to regard him the best friend he had in all the world. And it was this human sentiment and not his superb teachings or marvelous doings that held them together until after the resurrection and the renewal of the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom.
Remember Webster’s definition of communion? “A Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the communicant.” Paper 179 of The URANTIA Book describes this first communion that Jesus introduced at the last supper before he was arrested, tormented, tried, and crucified. Also at that last supper Jesus displayed the most beautiful, humbling act when he knelt down at each of the apostles’ feet and washed them, which was the job of a servant. It was a deeply moving experience for those apostles, and it was a tremendous teaching for them.
…now, the Master was instituting a new remembrance supper as a symbol of the new dispensation, wherein the enslaved individual emerges from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of the brotherhood[/sisterhood], and fellowship of the liberated faith sons [and daughters] of the living God. (ibid., Section 5, Paragraph 2)
As they brought Jesus the third cup of wine, the cup of blessing, he arose from the couch and, taking the cup in his hands, blessed it, saying, “Take this cup all of you and drink of it. This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you, the emblem of the bestowal and ministry of the divine spirit of truth and I will not again drink this cup with you until I drink in new form with you in the Father’s eternal kingdom.” (ibid., Section 5, Paragraph 1)
When they had finished drinking this new cup of remembrance, the Master took up the bread and after giving thanks, broke it in pieces and directing them to pass it around, said, “Take this bread of remembrance and eat it. I have told you that I am the bread of life. And this bread of life is the united life of the Father and of the Son in one gift. The word of the Father as revealed in the Son is indeed the bread of life.” When they had partaken of the bread of life, the symbol of the living word of truth, incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh, they all sat down. (ibid., Section 5, Paragraph 3)
The sacrament of communion is merely a symbolical and artistic reminder that each one of us as individuals can have that intimate and personal communion with Jesus Christ Michael daily, moment to moment. Christ Michael is our daily comrade through his Spirit of Truth that is in each one of us. As a result of that communion with Jesus, we draw closer to the Universal Father through communication and cooperation with our Thought Adjuster, the Fragment of God the Father within each of us. It was Jesus’ communion with his apostles and disciples that enabled them to eventually believe in his resurrection and accept his ministry to them in his morontia forms. It is that daily communion with Christ Michael that enables us to continually be resurrected from our own deaths to our dio (erroneous) patterns, our own disappointments, confusions, and frustrations. It is that communion with the Creator that enables us to continue on after our various crucifixions, being resurrected to carry on the ministry today as the apostles and the disciples carried on Jesus’ ministry for the rest of their lives.
Think of those times of resurrection in your life when in some way God reached out to you. God reaches out in so many ways. He reaches out through nature. He reaches out through other human beings. He reaches out through the living spiritual forces that are on this planet, and of course He reaches out through the Threefold Spirit that is within us. I want you to reflect upon the different resurrections that you have had in this life, where you have in some way been uplifted by God’s personal ministry to you.
There are a lot of things happening on this planet that are very frightening and discouraging. We are aware of those signs of the so-called “end times,” but let us not forget the vision and the destiny of this planet and that light and life is being brought here. All of these other things that are happening are simply the labor pains of the transition into this rebirthing of our planet and of each of us as individuals if we choose to resurrect in God’s outreach to us.
About Niánn : Niánn Emerson Chase is a world-renowned spiritual leader, educator, activist, and prolific author with many articles and teachings on culture, society, spirituality, healing, and cultural sustainability. Along with Gabriel of Urantia, Niánn co-founded Global Community Communications Alliance, a multifaceted global change nonprofit comprised of 100+ change agents from five continents, and The University of Ascension Science and The Physics of Rebellion both located in Tumacácori, Arizona. Their VANETICS podcast series on advanced spirituality brings expansive concepts about God, the cosmology of creation, and their experience with Celestial Overcontrol down to earth in a personal and candid way.
Niánn’s website is: https://niannemersonchase.org/