The best scholarly scenario for us would be to learn all of the ancient languages, intimately, that the Bible is written in and try to read from the earliest texts we can. I don't know about you, but the chances of me accomplishing that feat is nearly nil and even if I did I am learning dead languages through a lens of modern research and I could never hope to fully understand the original idioms that make a language what it is. Instead I enjoy picking apart certain words from time to time and trying to understand their full context.
- an act or instance of sharing
- (capitalized) : a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ
- the act of receiving Communion
- (capitalized) the part of a Communion service in which the sacrament is received intimate fellowship or rapport : communication
- a body of Christians having a common faith and discipline *the Anglican communion*
Middle English, from Latin communion-, communio mutual participation, from communisFirst Known Use: 14th centuryWe can also find this from the Online Etymology Dictionary which lists the venerable Oxford Dictionary as a primary source:
late 14c., from O.Fr. comunion "community, communion" (12c.), from L. communionem (nom. communio) "fellowship, mutual participation, a sharing," used in L.L. ecclesiastical language for "participation in the sacrament," from communis (see common). Used by Augustine, in belief that the word was derived from com- "with, together" + unus "oneness, union."Mutual "participation", "sharing", "common?" Are these the words you tend to think of when you hear the word communion? How about Koinonia, a Greek word?
1: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse A: the share which one has in anything, participation B: intercourse, fellowship, intimacy 1: the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office) C: a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowshipNow given that the Greek New Testament has something like 20 instances of this word which roots to basically the same thing, it gives you the impression that our Communion should be something larger and smaller, all at the same time. It isn't just an act, but an invitation to to be in the presence of God but it also more worldly than that. Communion should be our time to fellowship with our brothers and sisters of Christ. It is our time to invite the Lord into our presence so that he can be with us while we are with each other. Give this some thought, take it to your small groups and encourage others to try and expand their joy with being together. God Bless!