I appreciated your comments and thoughts about keeping communion fresh, so here is the second part of the discussion. What messages can we focus on as we break bread together?
Regardless of your tradition most believers “break bread” on a fairly regular basis. The challenge for all of us is, How do we keep the experience of communion meaningful and fresh? Communion is important as an opportunity to experience the presence of God together. It can be a great evangelistic opportunity, a prophetic event, time to affirm vision and/or values, an open door to personal ministry or an opportunity to impart faith and confidence in God’s work in our lives or our church.
The key to keeping the moment alive with meaning and Presence is to approach it with a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and to connect our emphasis with what He is doing in the moment.Presently, I am part of a church that offers communion every week. I like that, but the challenge to keep it fresh increases. As I was waiting to receive the elements last week, I began to think about different Biblical ways to approach this. Here is a brief list of some of my thoughts. I’d love hear different ways you have found to celebrate the sacrifice of Christ in the elements.
Without a doubt this is the most familiar approach, and for good reason. Our forgiveness by the shed blood of Jesus is an amazing thing and our awareness of that wonderful fact can easily get lost in the rough and tumble flow of life on earth. What a blessed reminder of who we are and where we stand. Celebrate forgiveness!
Covenant is a neglected truth in western christianity. The shed blood and broken body of Jesus is the way God entered into a binding and eternal commitment with the human race. The Father made an agreement with the Son, and enacted that with the bond of blood. He willingly offers us the opportunity to enter into that relationship. We inherit everything the Son has. We are covenanted with God. Celebrate our joining with the Father and the Son!
If we are covenanted with God, that means we are covenanted with each other too! When we break bread together we are confessing that we are part of the same family. We are accepted by God and accepting of one another with the same grace we have received. Celebrate covenant community!
We focus on the cup as the blood of forgiveness but communion is not only a cup. There is bread too. This bread connects us to the very life of Jesus. He gives Himself to us in the bread. Need love? Grace? Wisdom? Courage? Patience? Eat of Jesus and let His grace flow freely – He is what we need! Celebrate the life of Jesus in you!
Communion is not for everyone. There are restrictions as to who can take it. Why apologize for that? Why not make it an opportunity to call people to come into that wonderful relationship right now and confess that by taking the bread and cup? If they are not ready yet, we encourage them to wait until they are willing to surrender their lives to the One whose broken body and shed blood we now commemorate. Celebrate faith in Christ!
These are just a few of the Biblical themes in and around communion. There are more things that God can do with a focus on the bread and the cup.
I would love to hear from you. How has God met with you during communion? Would you share it with us?