Five Reasons to Celebrate Communion Every Sunday

communion2Does your church celebrate communion every Sunday? If not, here are five reasons you should consider it:

1. Jesus gave us the bread and wine as the regular reminder of the gospel. The gospel is the good news that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has established communion with humanity, forgiving us of our sins and drawing us into the dance of God’s life. When Jesus took the bread and wine and said “this is my body and blood” he gave us an outward and visible sign of the gracious, but hidden, truth of our communion with God through Jesus. No other reminder of the gospel, such as sermons or songs, was given to us in the way that the bread and wine were given.

2. Jesus gave us the bread and wine as the means of thankful response to God’s grace. The grace of God is the gift of God’s own communion-life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To such a magnificent and gracious gift we can only respond with thanksgiving. The bread and wine are often called the “Eucharist” because that is the Greek word for thanksgiving. Other forms of response to God’s grace – such as altar calls and sinners’ prayers – may have their place but they were not given to us by Jesus in the way that the bread and wine were given.

3. Jesus gave us the bread and wine so that we would have something tangible to take hold of. There’s a story about a small boy who was frightened of a thunder storm one night and jumped in bed with his parents. His Dad said “don’t you know that God will protect you?” and the boy replied, “yes, but sometimes I need someone with skin on.” Words, songs, prayers, and emotions are all real but intangible. The bread and wine give our bodies a much needed material and tangible encounter with the presence of God in our world.

4. Jesus gave us the bread and wine to remind us of himself and the story of his life on our behalf. St. Paul says that as often as we take the bread and wine “we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” In the Eucharist we are encountering the past (the Lord’s death) and the future (his return) in the immediacy of the present moment. No other act of worship enables us to experience the life of Jesus in that way.

5. Celebrating communion every Sunday will make it more special, not less. Almost all churches have music, prayers, and sermons every Sunday and no one ever says “we should only have a sermon once a month” or “we should only pray once a quarter.” Only communion receives such treatment. And yet, Christians for 2,000 years testify to the fact that the more we receive Jesus’ body and blood in the bread and wine the more deeply we appreciate it and the more we are shaped into his image.

How could your church begin celebrating communion every Sunday, if you wanted to? By making it “available” and not required. Simply say, “we’re going to conclude each service with bread and wine for the benefit of any who would like to receive it.” Don’t make a big deal out of trying to get everyone to participate, just offer the feast of the Lord’s table and see how the Holy Spirit moves among the people who are gathered there

~ Jonathan Stepp

4 comments so far

  1. Jerome on

    Beautiful! Thank you Jonathan!

  2. Justin on

    It was also the practice of the primitive New Testament church. For your reasons and I think many others they embraced this sacred reminder!

  3. Jonathan Stepp on

    Thanks, guys, I appreciate the comments!

  4. Jason Hess on

    Great thoughts!

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