Communion in Community 101

Today I served communion for the first time. It was a very interesting experience and I look forward to more pastoral responsibilities in the future. There are only 2 ordinances in the Baptist denomination- baptism and communion, so it is quite an honor to serve a memorial of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Baptists believe that we are expected to do this in remembrance of Him. Communion is typically celebrated every quarter plus maybe a few other occasions.

“For this is what the Lord himself said, and I pass it on to you just as I received it. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.” [1 Corinthians 11:23-26]

We do not believe transubstantiation occurs, but that the elements- bread or cracker and wine or grape juice lead us to remembering the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made. He gave of Himself as our sacrifice for all time so that all people who receive His free gift of grace can live in peaceful communion with God now and will have eternal life when we physically die. There are Old Testament references to a lamb being sacrificed so that people may be saved such as in the Passover. Jesus is our absolution lamb. We do not receive communion for salvation or to seal the deal, but to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, He is Peace, and He is Savior.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29]

“And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.” [John 3:14-19]

The last time we celebrated communion I was only on the receiving end and something amazing happened. For the first time I literally heard my name from the server: “Erica, His body broken for you. Erica, His blood shed for you.” What a special way of receiving communion in community. Can you hear Him now? Listen carefully for the spiritual whisper… ______, My body broken for you… ______, My blood shed for you…

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