Once again, we plan to come to the Lord’s Table together, separately, this Sunday (May 3).
Whether you are coming to the Lord’s Table with your spouse, your kids, or by yourself, remember with us what this feast means:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 76
Q. What does it mean to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink his poured-out blood?
A. It means to accept with a believing heart the entire suffering and death of Christ and thereby to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.1
But it means more. Through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us, we are united more and more to Christ’s blessed body.2 And so, although he is in heaven3 and we are on earth, we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.4 And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit, as the members of our body are by one soul.51. John 6:35, 40, 50-54
2. John 6:55-56; 1 Corinthians 12:13
3. Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 11:26; Colossians 3:1
4. 1 Corinthians 6:15-17; Ephesians 5:29-30; 1 John 4:13
5. John 6:56-58; 15:1-6; Ephesians 4:15-16; 1 John 3:24
Even though we are staying home, remember that this feast is called “communion” aptly: here, now, we are communing with Christ, and we are communing with all of our fellow Christians who are in Christ. Even though we are isolated from each other in our homes, our spirits are more and more united to Christ’s, and to each other. May this unusual celebration of communion bless you, and build up the church.
Before the Service
Prepare the elements. You will need bread: either in pre-cut, individual pieces, or a whole loaf. 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 invites you to. And you will need juice: either a single serving poured into individual cups for everyone participating, or a single, common cup to pass.
Download and print, or open, the liturgy. Each person participating should be able to read along (if able), either from a printed copy or on a device. Print handouts are also included in this Sunday’s bulletins on the church’s welcome desk.
Prepare your heart. Weigh carefully these words from the Heidelberg Catechism:
Q. Who should come to the Lord’s table?
A. Those who are displeased with themselves because of their sins, but who nevertheless trust that their sins are pardoned and that their remaining weakness is covered by the suffering and death of Christ, and who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and to lead a better life.
Hypocrites and those who are unrepentant, however, eat and drink judgment on themselves.11. 1 Cor. 10:19-22; 11:26-32
- Are you sorry for your sins?
- Do you trust that Jesus has forgiven your sins by his death and resurrection?
- Do you want to grow in faith and obedience?
Before the pandemic, many so-called Christians were proficiently living a double life, continuing to enjoy sin in secret while outwardly keeping up their expected religious performance. Maybe this was you. And maybe this was going on for years! But now, without the public “stage” of sanctuary worship where you would normally “perform” your religious role, which life are you living?
- Are you actively pursuing a life of repentance and holiness in Christ?
- Or are you contentedly living in the world, pursuing the comforts and consolations of earthliness?
If the first is true, then communion with Christ among His church will be like medicine for your soul, nourishing your spirit in newness of life.
If, however, the second is true, then communion will be like poison, a toxic combination of condemnation and alienation that can only feel like death.
During the Service
Follow the worship guide for May 3, 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.
When invited, you are welcome to eat the bread and drink the cup, or dip the bread into the juice and eat both together, whichever you prefer.
After the Service
Just like last month, any leftover bread and juice may be consumed, or kept, or disposed of, however you see fit. Whatever you do with them, do so with thankfulness and freedom.
May God linger with us in these days, sitting with us in our living rooms, at our tables, in our homes. Amen.