While not ideal, and certainly not ordinary, we are going to come to the Lord’s Table together, separately, this Sunday (April 5).
If you are celebrating with your spouse, your kids, or by yourself, remember with us what this feast means:
Communion is a feast of remembrance. At this table we give thanks for the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ for us, to redeem us from death and sin, to restore us to life eternal, and to reconcile us to God the Father forever.
Communion is a feast of love. As we eat this bread, we remember that Jesus is with us as the bread of heaven, who nourishes our spirits with eternal life. As we drink this cup, we remember that Jesus is among us as the true vine, in whom we must abide if we are to bear fruit. Jesus promises to be with us, wherever two or three are gathered. Even if you are communing with us alone in your home, remember that we are united in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Communion is a feast of hope. Around this table we keep in mind that this is a sign of what is to come, a foretaste of the feast that we will share together in the new heavens and the new earth. We eat and drink in anticipation of the day when God gathers us to Himself again.
These promises that are articulated in the bread and the cup are true for us — past, present, and future. We receive these good gifts as God’s grace for us, to unite us to Christ Jesus even in our isolation.
Before the Service
Have bread ready. You can use sliced bread, cut into small pieces for everyone beforehand, or have a whole loaf. It’s up to you. If you do use a whole loaf, you are welcome to break it as Pastor Cody does in the video, and rip a piece from it when Pastor Cody instructs you to.
Have grape juice ready. You can pour the juice into small cups for everyone beforehand, and drink from your cup after eating the bread; or you can have one large bowl or cup ready, to dip your piece of bread into.
Have the liturgy ready. Make sure that everyone participating in the service can read along, either from a printed copy, or on a device.
During the Service
Follow the worship guide for April 5, and watch the sermon video.
When Pastor Cody instructs you in that video, take the liturgy and follow along, reading aloud the bold lines with Pastor Cody. Eat the bread and drink the cup separately, or dip the bread into the juice and eat both together, as you prefer.
After the Service
The leftover bread and juice may be eaten and drunk when and how you see fit. If you feel that these elements should be finished here and now out of respect for the sacrament, feel free to do so with reverence and worship and thanksgiving.
But you don’t need to do this. In our Protestant understanding of communion, these physical symbols are not transformed during the sacrament: we are. When you are finished, the bread is still bread and the juice is still juice. You may eat and drink them, or dispose of them, as you see fit, so long as you do so in thankfulness and freedom.
Again, this is not ideal or ordinary. We will not make a habit of communing separately. But these extraordinary times do call for extraordinary responses. Thank you for trying something new with us. We pray that this unique celebration of communion is pleasing to God, and that God will work through our best efforts to build up His church and to bind us more and more to Himself.