Getting Ready for Communion
In this unusual season of sheltering-in-place, we are both separated in a physical sense, and also united in that we are sharing the experience of staying at home. What a bizarre sort of communion! We are similarly bound together in that all of us have lost significant things: whether it’s school events and routines, or a trip, or time with friends, or the freedom to go outside without worry, or more serious health issues. We are together in knowing loss. Looking ahead, Lord willing, the days will come when the effects of the Corona Virus recede and we begin to rise up to reclaim portions of life that needed to be laid down for this season. We are united in suffering, yes, and we will be united in rising. These words remind me of what the Apostle Paul says was his ultimate goal:
Quoting from his letter to the Philippians, 3:10-11 (NET Bible)
"My aim is to know him (Jesus!), to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The aim is to know Jesus, and to know him in these two distinct ways:
- The power of his resurrection
- Sharing in his suffering
The next two weeks in Sunday worship, we will have the opportunity to share the Lord’s Supper in two different ways:
- Palm Sunday - at the beginning of Holy Week - meditating on the sufferings of Christ
- Easter Sunday - at the end of Holy Week - celebrating his resurrection from the dead
In sharing this Communion with each other and the Lord, we recognize and embrace the truth that our lives are bound up together with his. We know suffering together. We will rise up by the power of God together. This is true because we are in Christ, and with Christ, through it all.
A few words about the logistics of how this can work for you and your household :
- Communion is for all baptized members of the Family of God!
- In preparation for communion, select some bread (any type of bread, cracker, or baked good can adequately stand in) to represent the body of Christ. Also select some form of red or crimson drink (grape juice, cranberry juice, reddish tea, soda or something stronger if appropriate) to represent the blood of Christ.
As part of our Sunday LiveStream, your Pastors will introduce the Lord’s Supper and offer guidance so that we can participate together. If you are physically alone, you’ll be encouraged to speak aloud the words, “This is the body of Christ. This is the blood of Christ.” If you are in the company of others you’ll be encouraged to share with these words “This is the body of Christ for you. This is the blood of Christ for you” and to share the elements appropriately.
It is also wise to prepare your heart so you can participate with maximum gratitude for what Jesus is sharing with you. I encourage you to meditate on the words of Philippians 3:10-11 mentioned above. Additionally, in preparation for Easter, sign up for our Holy Week Devotional experience so that you can walk with Jesus - and many of his people - every step of the way during Holy Week 2020. May God’s Grace go before you on this most sacred journey.