Beginning Sunday, May 30, 2021, Christ Community will bring back weekly communion!
Some things will be different while some things will get us back to rhythms we had pre-pandemic. Before we get to those specifics, we felt like it was important to remind ourselves why it’s important to bring communion back weekly. Here’s 7 reasons:
It’s a clear message to anyone who’s there that Jesus died to forgive them and redeem their life.
1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Proclaiming the Lord’s death means proclaiming the grace, forgiveness, and redemption that results from that death. When we include this in our gathering, anyone who is in the room is forced to consider those truths. Why would someone take a piece of bread and drink a cup of juice to remember the death of Jesus? Because it resulted in their forgiveness and redemption.
It invites us to examine change in our own lives.
Paul’s invitation to the Corinthians was this: “Let a person examine himself; in this way let him eat the bread and drink from the cup.” It’s interesting to think that we are changing all the time, but we often don’t stop and reflect on how we are changing. That has been true many times over during a season of quarantines. Our lives change- we value different things, we treat others differently, we change our perspective - all without often realizing those changes have taken place. Communion invites us to examine our lives, and notice both positive and negative changes that make us more or less like Christ.
It promotes unity and togetherness.
There’s a difference. Unity is the idea or the principle of being united around something or for something. Communion unites us around Christ. But it also promotes togetherness. Togetherness is the act of being together - not just in theory, but in reality. As we move together towards communion, as we all repeat the process of taking the bread and the juice, as we all examine, we are together. Paul actually reminded the Corinthians that taking communion in the proper manner revolved around these ideas of unity and togetherness (1 Cor. 11:18-21).
It’s a weekly reaffirmation of the commitment you made to Christ when you were first baptized.
Scripture speaks of two ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is meant to mark the beginning of one’s journey with Jesus and the church. The Lord’s Supper is the continuation of that commitment week by week. Communion is an opportunity to “re-up” our commitment to Jesus, his church, and the work he is doing in our world. At the first Lord’s Supper (Ironically, historically known as the Last Supper), Jesus talked about many things with the disciples. In John 15 he describes their relationship with the image of vines and branches. His command? Remain in me. Communion helps us do just that.
It enhances our response to the gospel by engaging other senses.
We hear music and preaching. We see words on screens and sing with our voices. But when we take communion, we touch the elements. We taste them. It reminds us that Jesus doesn’t just want to restore our hearts or our heads, but our entire lives - body, mind, and soul.
It’s a way we serve one another.
Getting back to some of our old communion rhythms allows us to start the meal with more of the same tone that Jesus started the Last Supper with in John 13: Servant Leadership. Jesus washes the disciples feet before the meal which was an incredible act of service. Now, we aren’t going to start washing feet weekly, but we do get the chance for someone to offer communion to you and to remind you of Christ’s body and his blood shed for you. As we restart communion, our Pastor/Elder’s are looking forward to serving our church family in this way. But over time, other’s of you will be used by God to lead us in this time of serving one another the Lord’s Supper.
It reminds us of the meal we will one day share together in God’s eternal kingdom.
The words of Jesus are recorded as he offers the bread and the cup to the disciples in 3 of the 4 gospels. In those three accounts, Jesus mentions that he won’t share this meal with them again until God’s kingdom comes. There’s a very real sense that as we share in the Lord’s Supper each week, it’s a taste, a preview, a sneak peek at what it will be like to share a meal with Jesus in God’s Kingdom one day. It inspires incredible hope!
So for those reasons (and more!) we think it’s really important to get back to some more normal rhythms of taking communion. Here’s a preview of what it will look like:
Communion will take place at the close of the sermon in the Gathering. If you have elementary kids who are baptized, you will be invited to go and check out those kids to join in taking communion.
Communion bread squares will be in a cup. Another cup with juice will be stacked inside of it.
There will be two stations at the front edges with communion trays and someone offering communion to you.
Once the song of response begins to play, you are invited at any time to get up from your seat and form a line along the outside edge of the gathering area.
We will have trash cans up front if you take your elements right away. If not, we ask that you be responsible for getting your empty cups in a trash can.
We know that not everyone may be comfortable taking communion yet due to different responses to COVID-19 precautions. Please feel no pressure to join in the Lord’s Supper until you are ready.
To all who are baptized believers in Jesus Christ, we invite you to join us for the Lord’s Supper when you are ready!