Should I Commune?
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper often at St. John's because we believe it is the most powerful medicine available today. Similar to a good doctor we want to ensure that this "medicine" is a blessing for you.
Our family includes a variety of people at different places in their walk of faith with the Lord. That means that some will participate in the Lord's Supper and some will remain in their seats. God’s Word says that before anyone goes to the Lord’s Supper they should examine themselves. “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-28 ESV) Before you decide if you’re ready to participate you should ask yourself these questions.
Do I believe that I’m eating the body of Jesus and drinking his blood? The apostle Matthew writes, “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:26-28 ESV) We believe that just as Jesus said so He puts in our mouths His very body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Why is this a big deal? Read the apostle Paul’s words, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-30 ESV) The body and blood of Jesus is powerful enough to heal anything but taken in an unworthy manner it can do great harm.
Do I believe what this church believes? This leads to a great question. How do I know what this church believes? We are a part of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod so what we believe is found in the Book of Concord and summarized in Luther’s Small Catechism. If you still don’t know what we believe then you can’t know that you agree with us and you should not go to communion. Why is this a big deal? God’s Word is very clear that participating in the Lord’s Supper is bigger than just you as an individual. It’s about the people that you are being united with. That's why it is called a Common Union or Communion. “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ESV) This church offers classes for both adults and children so that those who commune together can rejoice to know that they celebrate together the Lord’s Supper.
Have I repented of my sins and am I ready, with the Lord’s help, to change my sinful life? The Lord’s Supper is all about CONFIDENCE. It’s about knowing that my sins are forgiven and eternal life is mine because Jesus gave his body and blood for me. It’s about knowing that I belong at this table with these people. It’s about knowing that I belong in the house of the Lord. If you're still not sure if you should commune then PLEASE wait until you've talked to the Pastor. He would be glad to answer any questions so that you can have that confidence in Christ!