Prepared for Communion

Read: 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

Most of us grew up with different traditions of observing the Lord’s Supper (Communion). Some observed it every Sunday during worship, others shared it once a month, and some shared it only once or twice a year. People have different perspectives and interpretations of scripture as to how often they should have communion and in what manner it should be done.

One thing that most Christians do agree on is how we are to approach this time. 1 Corinthians 11 gives us clear direction on the spirit, attitude, and humility in which we are to approach this time of remembering what Jesus has done for us and what it means for us each day. Apparently in the early Corinth church there were some who were abusing this time and using it for selfish reasons that were more about them than it was about Christ.

In verse 27 Paul says, “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” He then says, “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat and drink from the cup.” The time leading up to communion should be a time of prayer, reflection, confession, repentance, and restoration.

Jesus himself taught the importance of fostering restored relationships among those who worship together. When he was giving the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 he said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

We may not be able to make everything right with every person, but Jesus wants us to work towards that as much as possible. Just because you forgive someone else does not mean they will grant you that same forgiveness and restore the broken relationship, even if that is your deepest desire. In some cases we need to ask for God’s forgiveness and rest in His assurance that we are forgiven, even if others refuse to forgive.

Please understand that you do not need to be perfect to partake in communion. That type of thought process often scares people away from one of the most restoring and incredible observances that Christ has given to us. The bread (body) and the cup (blood) are to represent what Jesus has done for us because we are not perfect. He paid the sacrifice for us so that we could be restored and renewed in him.

Yes, we should approach the table, altar, communion time, with humility and repentance, but it should not be a time for us to rehash the guilt and shame for our sinful past. It should be a time to celebrate what Jesus did for you because of his love and concern for you. Whether you share communion every Sunday or only once or twice a year, my prayer is that it would always be a serious time of reflection as well as a joyful time of celebrating your new life in Jesus Christ.

Make it personal: Spend some time in prayer this week and ask the Lord to reveal something new to you about communion. How might God want you to prepare for communion in the future? Is it different than what you had been doing in the past? Most of all ask the Lord to allow you to truly celebrate his love for you during that time.

Have a blessed week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church