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The Communion of Saints
If this isn’t the most dramatic time during our service, I can’t imagine what is. This is the only part that needs some preparation before invitation.
The prayers of the church are meant to place us in a humble spirit, remembering those of us not so fortunate to be able to present ourselves. A time for confession, reflection and worship, parts held so differently in different churches. In our church, a statement read in unison asks for the inequities both obvious and obscure to be forgiven. For the converts, there is no further process necessary to ask forgiveness. God knows all about us and forgives us for the things even we can’t reveal in our own minds. He knows all and through His love forgives all.
A reminder that the body and blood of Christ is what we are partaking in the form of bread and wine. Eat this bread and you shall hunger no more, drink of Me and you will never thirst again.
The mechanics of it all defines the process more accurately than spirituality. In 1 Corinthians 11verse 26 it says 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord's death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again.
In our church we use a practice by which we walk down the center aisle to receive our portion of Christ’s sacrifice, we walk to the taking of the bread of His bread, a walk and a pathway, a choice to move towards Him. As an added advantage, our Pastor will walk down the aisle, making sure that we wind up holding the bread in our hand for a few moments hoping we differentiate between the mechanics of our actions and the profound references to what we are doing. In 1 Corinthians10:15, Paul asks us whether we aren’t sharing together in Christ’s blessing and sharing together in His benefits when we come to the sacred table.
I have encountered a few ironies over Communion. I was approached at one point by an individual asking me whether I enjoyed what Pastor says during Communion. I replayed those words in my mind and quickly voiced my agreement. I did in fact enjoy very much, the reenactment of that day in Christ’s life. To understand at this point that He actually was predicting for all mankind, the way in which we would remember His sacrifice. I voiced my concurrence to learn that this gentleman was voicing some unhappiness with the fact that he was speaking of Pastor’s words as he hands us the Eucharist. He felt that the music hindered his hearing Pastor’s words. I thought his complaint invalid but understand the desire to hear that “this was the body of Christ given for him” as a very important piece of what we do. The 26th Chapter of Matthew is clear in its description of the Lord’s Supper stating that they sang a hymn before going out to the Mount of Olives. It is clear that our own rendition of the sharing of the body and blood emulates the Bible version precisely.
This has long been a very holy time for the church and our thoughts have to be connected with the Biblical doctrines. While there is some urgency for our members to physically get through the process, there also must be some reverence for the solemnity of cause.
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