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Communion Meditations (2014)

Taking Together

Originally scheduled for May 11

There seems to be no particular specification in the Scripture for this.  Some churches allow their members to take communion at their own pace, separately.  Others insist that partaking be a group activity, all members participating at the same moment.  Some use both methods, as might seem reasonable to them. 

If you are one who is truly in fellowship with Christ, taking the communion synchronously has certain advantages:

·         You can’t just “hurry and get it over.”  It’s there in front of you; you have to contemplate it until the time comes.  It requires at least some meditation and thought.

·         It demonstrates – both to those in and out of the church – the unity of the church.  Taking communion in public tells the world that you belong to Christ; taking it in unison tells the world you also belong to his church at this location.

·         It makes it clear that communion is not optional for Christians.  There is no sense in the idea that you might not be ready to repent and confess your sins;  you have accepted the Lord and repentance, like communion, is obedience to his command.

·         Likewise, it makes it clear that the grace of God is intended for all.  There is no secret layer of Christians who are sufficiently pious that they, and only they, can take communion.  We are the pardoned ones.

But – it is a sad truth – there are those who should not take communion.  They face the temptation to do it because everyone else is.  They are living with an abiding sin.  To take communion without repentance is a grave error; communion is designed to surface that abiding sin, bringing it out of the closet.  It does so by reminding one of the sacrifice made by Christ, proclaiming his grace available to one and all.  Don’t just go through the ritual; meet and know the mind of Christ.  Your sins are not so great that you cannot be forgiven.

So, if you know that taking communion would be just an empty ritual to you, please – don’t.  Instead, take the time to confess the sin you are hiding, and repent of it.  If possible, reconcile with any injured parties as soon as you can.  Prepare yourself for the next communion by confession and repentance – and acceptance of the grace of God.

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