Weekly Communion

I’m currently teaching our Sunday Morning Bible Class on the Theology and Practice of the Lord’s Supper. We’ve hit all kinds of topics so far, and will eventually hit on the topic of frequency of Communion. Here is a top ten list of reasons why Communion should be offered every Sunday in the main service:

  1. In Holy Communion the Lord Jesus gives us His true body and blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of our sins (This one kind’ve takes the cake in my opinion).
  2. No week goes by that this gift is not made available to the Bride of Christ.
  3. The service is incomplete without it.
  4. Weekly Eucharist was the norm for at least the first 16 centuries of the Church.
  5. It was the practice of the Lutheran Reformers and their express desire to retain the practice in the Lutheran Confessions (does that count as 2?).
  6. Scripture does not limit its frequency (We could even have it more often than every Sunday if we wanted!)
  7. The Lord’s Supper is a gift that Jesus wants us to enjoy, not a line item on a check list of laws to obey.
  8. It is not like common food, that if you have it too often it might not be as special to you. If it is not special to you, then the problem lies with you, not with the Supper being offered.
  9. In the Lord’s Supper we are strengthened in our life of faith towards God and in our life of  love towards our neighbor.
  10. The Lord’s Supper is literally heaven on earth.

Just some “food” for thought (pun intended). What do you think? Anymore good reasons that I’m missing?

Advertisements

About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Weekly Communion

  1. If we offer it, and someone doesn’t want it, they are free to not partake.(Gospel) If we don’t offer, and someone wants it, they have no recourse. (Law)

    If one of our infirm members, who only manages to get here once every three or four months, shows up on a day it isn’t offered, they have missed their chance to join us at the Lord’s table. Do you want to deny them that chance?

  2. Paul:

    Consider the Apostle’s statement: “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Cor 11:26) This is what the Church does, as it is the heart of our faith. As we proclaim the resurrection of the Lord by gathering on the day of His rising again (Sunday), it should be accompanied by the proclamation of His death. By doing so, the great event of our salvation is celebrated in its wholeness.

    Also, the benefits that the Lord’s Supper provides (forgiveness, life, and salvation) cannot be exhausted this side of heaven. If thought of in terms as filling a jar, our “jar” constantly needs to be filled with forgiveness, life, and salvation.

    Though one might agree with #6, I think that statement seems “wrong” to me. (Not that we judge everything by how it seems.) But considering what we pray in the Our Father, I think that the Lord’s Supper could very well fit as “daily bread,” not one of three daily meals.

    LTZ

  3. Rev. Robert Mayes says:

    Hi Paul. Sometimes, people think that the Sacrament will become far too “common” if it is offered every week. The phrase is often used, “But then it won’t be special”.

    This is a genuine concern that can stem from an appreciation of the spiritual blessing of the Lord’s Supper. But it is misguided. One of my members was talking to me once about how when he was growing up, his church had the Lord’s Supper only 4 times a year. He made the comment that this was done because it was “more special.” I asked him, is the Sacrament special now even when we offer it every week? He thought a moment, and said, yes, it is special, but in a different way. I appreciate what he said.

    The Sacrament of the Altar is all gift. Nobody should be forced to receive it if they don’t want it. But if one of our members does want it and needs its strength, we should not sinfully or stubbornly withhold that gift from them.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes

  4. Rev. Paul L. Beisel says:

    You’re right–no one should be forced to receive it. But which is the better “problem” to have: the Lord’s Supper not available every Sunday, or the Lord’s Supper available every Sunday, but a few people not receiving it every Sunday. Frankly, I would rather have it offered every Sunday, just as the Gospel is preached every Sunday, so that Christians who do desire to commune may do so, but I would never tell anyone that they *have* to receive it just because it is offered. Then again, one wonders why someone wouldn’t want to receive it when it is offered.

    Thanks, everyone, for your input.

  5. Paul, As one who went through such a course of teaching with the hopes of introducing communion as an every Sunday practice I know where you are coming from in this post.

    I think if I had to do it all over again (and I truly hope to never have to do that all over again), I would stress two points: 1) The pure gospel of the sacrament and 2) that it should (not needs to) be offered every week. There are plenty of other good reasons to make and to stress, most you have covered in your ten points.

    In my experience only a handful of people will be concerned that it was the norm for 16 centuries or the Confessions say it should take place. I actually found that more people were interested in the fact that the Synod in Convention recommended the practice. Be ready for questions like “How many LC-MS congregations in our area practice this?” It may seem like an unimportant and superfluous question to us but it isn’t to our congregants (if nothing else, it at least displays a desire to “walk together”).

    Ultimately, I would avoid stressing any point that verges on “law” interpretations of offering the sacrament. One, it makes the sacrament of gospel into law and two, it gives your congregants the impression that what they have been doing, and possibly their faith, is lacking and insufficient. Something, I think, to be avoided in making this practice fruitful and comforting for the future.

  6. Mike Baker says:

    Here’s my additional point: It’s bad hospitality.

    LCMS memebers who visit your church service on an “odd” week who want to commune are deprived of the Lord’s Supper because of a local church schedule.

    While on travel orders with the military, there was a long period a while back where I visited dozens of churches. The problem of local parishes not having weekly communion can be frustrating to LCMS visitors. There was one stent where I went a month without communion because I always managed to visit a church during their non-communion service/week.

    When researching which church to attend in a visiting city, when given the choice I only go to churches that advertise weekly communion. In my book receiving a brother or sister of the synod in your congregation and then not being ready to offer the Lord’s Body and Blood is about the worst social fopaux I can think of.

  7. Mike Baker says:

    Pr Mayes is right on.

    I like to hold my breath so that my too-frequent intake of oxygen doesn’t cheapen the experience of air. 😉

Comments are closed.