Observations About Communion

Based upon my previous post I wanted to briefly share some observations about the Lord’s Supper.

1.     Reverence is less about silence and more about focus.

While we often hear about “reverence” and taking communion in a “worthy manner,” we often miss what this actually means. First, the context of taking communion in a “worthy manner” is about the discernment of the communal body of Christ, not about silence (1 Corinthians 11:27-29, 33-34). The Corinthian problem was an attitude of elitism. The wealthy were partaking of the common meal and communion without waiting for and providing for those who were less fortunate in the congregation. Therefore, Paul argues that those who take this in an unworthy manner were guilty of shedding the blood of Christ because they did not consider the unity of Christ and the unity of His body of believers.

Now, reverence is often seen in light of this and we are taught we must be silent, still, and in meditation. However, this is found nowhere in scripture and is a traditional practice passed down. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with this, but we sin when it becomes the requirement for holiness and worthiness during communion.

Worry less about silence and more about focus. What is your mind on? What are you discerning during your participation in the sacrifice? If you are silent, where are your thoughts? If you are in discussion, what is the topic? Maintain a focus on the matter at hand and you will be worthy or participation whether silent or vocal.

2.     Having only one or two Christians take communion in a room full of Christians seems to go against the intended purpose set forth by Christ.

One of the reasons we often give for communion on Sunday evening is so those who missed in the morning have an opportunity to take it. What we often forget is that if only one missed and takes of communion, have they really done it in a biblical way? Communion was always practiced as a community event where all Christians present were encouraged to participate. We seem to miss the point when only one or two take communion in a gathering of many.

3.     There is no command for frequency concerning participation in the Lord’s Supper.

We often struggle to take communion on Sunday evening if we were present for the morning worship because it has been taught that it is sinful. Why? Some argue because we are only allowed to take it once a week. However, the problem with this statement is that Jesus only said “as often as you do this” (1 Corinthians 11:25). Jesus did not specify how frequently one was allowed to take Communion. We know the early church set an example of taking it at least on Sunday and at times they would take it throughout the week as well. Let us not make man made laws and call them God’s. Whether you take it weekly or more often, make sure it is done in community as you discern the body and maintain a correct focus.

4.      Communion is a central part of the Christian faith.

It is in communion that we discern the body. It is here that we remind ourselves and others of Christ’s sacrifice and our own promise of sacrifice. It is here that we place ourselves on a cross alongside of Christ. It is in Communion that we find hope and purpose. In short, this act is an imperative, central part of our Christian life.