The Lord's Table
Perhaps the most heart wrenching aspect of not being together in person is that we do not take the Lord's Table together every week. It's not ideal for us to partake of the sacrament online, but as it is one of the means of grace we do not want to neglect it. Therefore, we have decided to have a time for the Lord's Table next Sunday, May 24, 2020.
We are aware that some feel a conviction not to take the Lord's Supper until we can truly be in communion together face-to-face. We completely understand and support your decision not to partake. We suggest simply using the time to pray.
If you will be joining together with us for The Lord's Table, here's all you need to know to be prepared:
THE BREAD | The Scripture tells us that Jesus broke bread when he instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Most likely he had a loaf of unleavened bread. Any loaf of bread will do, or you can use crackers (especially if you are avoiding gluten.)
THE WINE | Jesus instituted the sacrament using wine. Many people prefer to use grape juice instead, but any drink made from grapes would be sufficient.
Although we refer to them as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the bread and wine do not actually change. Nevertheless, something very real and very profound occurs spiritually. When we take communion, the Holy Spirit is present. He communicates Jesus to us and makes us present with Him in Heaven. However, physically Jesus remains at the right hand of the Father and does not come and “hide” within the bread and the wine.
Before the worship gathering:
- Set aside a small portion of bread for each person who will be partaking. This should be the size of one bite.
- Set aside a small portion of drink in any kind of glass for each person who will be participating. Just one swallow’s amount is sufficient.
- The preparation of the elements should be done with the reverence and honor due to the sacrament, but there is no special blessing or ritual necessary.
After the worship gathering, if you have bread or wine left over, you can dispose of them as you normally would. Again, they remain simply bread and wine.
PREPARING OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY
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.
Sin does not make us unworthy to take the Table. Indeed, only those who know they are sinners saved by grace, are worthy. The Heidelberg Catechism says that “those who are displeased with themselves because of their sins” are welcome at the Lord’s Supper.
We examine ourselves by acknowledging and repenting of our sins, and determining to seek reconciliation with others when possible, and relying upon our Savior Jesus for forgiveness.
If you find that you are unwilling to repent, it would not be wise to partake of the Sacrament. Instead you should pray and ask God to help you to truly hate your sin and to give you the resolve to recommit yourself to obedience.
WHO SHOULD PARTAKE?
In your household, only those who are believers in Jesus Christ and who have been examined by the elders of the Church and found to have a credible profession of faith should partake of the sacrament. This means that if you have not-yet-believers staying with you, they should not take communion. If you have young children who have not yet been baptized and have not yet made a profession of faith, they should not take communion.
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, and has examined themselves and can partake in a worthy manner, should take communion.
Those who are unable to participate are encouraged to spend the moment in contemplative prayer, perhaps asking God to reveal Himself to them in a new way.
HOW WILL THIS WORK?
Pastor Ryan will walk us through this time of communion, explaining each of the elements and then giving you a moment to eat and drink each of them. We recommend placing the elements in a spot where everyone can reach them, and then allowing each person to serve themselves as Ryan leads.
We look forward to the coming day when we will be able to enjoy this moment of communion face to face. Until then, know we are praying for you to experience the grace of God in other ways as He is always with us.