18. Jan, 2018

Communion to take or not to take


To Take or not to take.

 The other day we were told taking communion weekly was being religious. But as we were about to take communion we were asked what communion was. The answer to the second question answers why taking communion is the most important part of any and every service. We can speak words for hours on end but nothing is like participation to understand the promise and sacrifice of our Lord.

Being religious is, according to the Church doing something the church says you shouldn't. I looked up the word religious and there were only positive words listed for this term. There was nothing under this word’s meaning that gave me any concern in doing something wrong, if I wish to take communion as often as I can [1 Corinthians 11:25] even weekly. So if taking communion every week is being religious then why is going to church every week not? If taking communion every week is being religious why is giving a sermon every week not? In these two we may hear about the Lord but in communion we experience Him.

Let us have a look at what my answer to the question, what Communion is. To me it is a practical demonstration of a physical event and that event is the sacrifice of our Lord for my sins, your sins and the sins of the world. [Romans 5:6-8] It is a picture of what the Lord did for you and me as He was whipped, [Isaiah 53:4 – Mark 15:15] abused [Isaiah 53:7 – 1 Peter 2:23] and dragged through the streets [Matthew 27:32] then nailed to a cross [Matthew 27:35] as the people cried “Crucify Him”. [Matthew 27:23] It is a representation of the earthly meeting the heavenlies, the blood of the Lord who came from heaven, [John 1:1] meeting the bread that represents an earthly body. If we did nothing else in a meeting before the Lord but kneel before Him asking for forgiveness [Luke 5:21] and partaking of communion we would have partaken in the promise [2 Timothy 1:1] and once more renewed our commitment to Him. The promise given to mankind so long ago and played out in the streets of Jerusalem and ended on Golgotha. [Matthew 27:33] We can hear a thousand sermons, which are mostly forgotten a month later, but taking communion just once, we may never forget. I remember taking communion back as an eighteen year old for the first time, I never knew what it meant but felt I should take it and now to me it is the most precious time of any service. After all is a church service about us or about the Lord?

Someone once asked me, “Would anybody be lost if they only took communion once a year, which is taught by some? The answer to this question is yes, my sister could have been. She came to the Lord while she was taking communion for the first time in her life. I asked her why she had never taken it before? Her answer; “I don’t feel worth.” Of course none of us are worthy and that’s why He took our place and why we should always remember His sacrifice that rescued us and presents us clean before the Father. [1 Corinthians 15:3]

We took communion every week in our Pentecostal Church, so I invited her to come with us to Church the following Sunday. The day my sister came to church I asked if I could give her the Communion elements, which she took and experienced the wonder of the crucifixion for the first time. As she took the bread and wine from my hands and looked at the elements the tears started to flow and the Lord came into her life. Of all the words she heard at that meeting nothing compared to how the Lord spoke to her as she took the bread and the wine.  As she heard the words of our Lord, “This is the cup of the new covenant [Luke 22:20] the covenant promised through the Prophet Jeremiah”, [Jeremiah 31:31] and as she heard the words, “I am the bread of life.” [John 6:35] She ate and drank and she believed.

Why should the church remove this chance for many more Sharons to experience what our Sharon experienced that day? Why should we deny any one to have the chance of eternal salvation as my sister did and has by placing rules on when the communion should or should not be taken? She died eighteen months later after confessing Yeshua as Lord [Acts 4:12] and was baptised and took part in a Jesus/Yeshua march in the Main Street of our city. I always ask the question, what would have happened if she had not had the opportunity to take communion because it was not the week for it to be given to the people and she never had the chance to take it?

These are the meanings of the word Religious, as found in the Dictionary, words like: devout, reverent, believing, godly, God–fearing, dutiful, holy, faithful, devoted, committed, all fall under the description of religious. All these words show our dedication to the truth of the Word of God. Correct me if I am wrong but I see nothing religious as in the church term, in these words, but just the opposite, to me they describe how our feelings should always be towards our Lord and Saviour.

These are words that show our feelings, they show we want to and need to worship and praise His Holy name in all things and at all times. [Psalm 34:1] Are we not to be devout followers of Yeshua as He was devout in following the commands of the Father?  [John 12:28] Are we not to be reverent in our actions and our words, are we not be true followers of the One who leads? [Micah 4:5] God fearing is the beginning of wisdom [Psalm 111:10] as wisdom is what keeps us within the footsteps of the Lord. [Ecclesiastes 7:12] Dutiful, our duty to our Lord surely should know no bounds. [2 Corinthians 7:4 NIV] The Lord clearly expects us to be holy as He is Holy [Leviticus 11:44] and to walk in the ways of the Lord not the world. [1 John 2:15] And if we are not faithful to all God wants of us are we truly the followers the Lord wants us to be? {Romans 15:5] Is it too much trouble to be devoted to the Lord, after all His devotion to fulfilling His Word and His promises to us knew no limits? [John 3:16-17] He promised, He spoke, He acted and now we have salvation so is it too difficult to commit our ways totally unto the Lord? [Proverbs 3:5-6]

Again please correct me if I am wrong on this but I see nothing within the words of being religious that tells us not to do as the Lord commands and surely that includes taking of the communion as often as we can. Communion - the outward sign or action that shows our inward love and actions towards our Lord and all He has done for us. [1 Peter 3:18] From dust we came and to dust we will return, [Ecclesiastes 3:20] the bread came from the dust and grew into a food that maintains our physical bodies. Just as the Lord was buried and then grew into the Bread of Life, who maintains our Spiritual bodies, forever. The blood flows through our bodies ensuring the oxygen we breathe spreads throughout to give us physical life. Now His blood has been given for life eternal to flow through our bodies to give us that life the Lord spoke of when He said; “Unless one is born of water and the blood you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. [John 3:4-7]

When we take communion we should imagine for a moment that we are the only person there, kneeling at the Altar, kneeling before the Lord. Taking the cup and the bread and looking into His face of the Lord and say, “Thank you”, before we drink knowing this we have in our hands represents what He did for us and why we can, eat and drink, doing this in remembrance of Him kneeling in a time of Communion before our Lord and Saviour.

 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:19:20