Here are a few guidelines we will be taking as we observe the Lord’s Supper this upcoming Sunday. The first is spiritual and the second is physical.
As we always do for the Lord’s Supper, we remind our congregation that this meal is only for those professing Christians who have been infant baptized and confirmed or been baptized as adults. If you are not a believer, have not been adult baptized or adult confirmed, or are living in unrepentant sin by which you refuse to come to Christ for forgiveness, we ask that you do not participate in the Lord’s Supper.
Secondly, only those who are physically present at our in-person worship service (9:00am and 10:30am) should partake in the meal. This means if you are worshipping with us from your homes through our livestream service, please do not take communion by yourself or with your family. Why are we implementing this restriction? In 1 Corinthians 11 Apostle Paul gives instructions to the church about the Lord’s Supper and five times he mentions a key phrase: “when you come together.” I encourage you to read that passage from verses 17 to 34. Paul is insistent on this point because the Supper is for the gathered church, not the scattered church. The gathering of the saints together is in part what makes Lord’s Supper so special. But also consider 1 Corinthians 10:17 which says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” The one bread observed in the Supper expresses the unity of the many who are gathered together. It is a meal to be taken together in a covenantal context. When we are scattered, the Supper cannot express our unity. The Supper’s expression of unity also points us to the future where in heaven God’s people will gather around the marriage feast of the Lamb to dine together, no longer by faith but finally by sight. For those reasons, only those physically present should partake of the Lord’s Supper this Sunday.
Now after all that I said about the importance of the Lord’s Supper, it should sad that those who are not gathered in person cannot come to the Table. But the Lord’s Supper is not only about present nourishment but about future longing. May this temporary time away from the Supper stir your heart with greater desire for the final, heavenly banquet. I encourage you to take the time during Communion to pray, reflect and meditate on the Lord’s work for you.
In order to practice safety for our members, rather than using the traditional element of a loaf of bread we are using prepackaged communion sets. These individual sets come with juice and wafer. You will need to peel the top of the cup to access the wafer. Also rather than an elder distributing these elements, they will simply be placed on a table in the front of the sanctuary and as you come up you will take one (please touch only the communion set you are taking). We think it is still important to preserve the symbolism of coming up the table and receiving what God invites you to. Next, we will not have you form a line as you come up but you will be asked to come up by the row you’re sitting in so that we can maintain social distance. Lastly, please keep your masks on during this time until we are ready together to partake of the elements.
We hope in this manner, that for those gathered the Lord’s Supper is truly a nourishing and refreshing time.