This is the weirdest Holy Week I can remember. Nothing seems right. Nothing seems normal. Nothing seems holy about this week really. As I sit in the sanctuary with the room nearly empty. A handful of faithful servants have been there for every service we’ve shared with the world. But something just isn’t the same. Add to it there have been lots of things missing this Holy Week that normally would be there and this week feels just so off!
As a pastor this is one of the weeks I look forward to all year. It’s busier than normal but it’s worth every second! The pretty dresses and fancy clothes people wear. The smiles on the children’s faces. The happy hearts and skipping steps of young people. It’s just a fantastic time to be together as a church.
But there’s something about this time of year that makes me long for communion all the more. We have communion on a weekly basis at the church I serve and if I’m being honest – I miss it a lot! I miss being joined together as the body of Christ around the body of Christ! This is a struggle many pastors face right now. Some pastors are just going to forgo communion altogether until we can make it back again. Some are doing drive through style communion services. Some are letting members sign up for communion and having smaller communion services throughout the week. Others have decided to do communion in a virtual way.
It’s so amazing to see the creativity of God’s people in a time when everything is so rigid and our days are pretty much determined for us by the government and healthcare system. I’m so excited to see the church rising to the challenge of not being able to meet! It energizes me to see how powerful the church is when we’re standing together. NO matter what medium we need to use to be together I believe we’re still together! Not ideal but still together.
NO matter what medium we need to use to be together I believe we’re still together! Not ideal but still together.
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I’ve been asked by many members of the church I serve if we’re ever going to have communion again! The people long for this in their worship lives. The bible tells us to participate as often as it is offered and these people are ready for it to be offered! So offer it we will. I’ve looked at the best practices of the many churches still doing communion. I’ve met with my elders and leadership and bounced some ideas off of brothers in ministry, and here’s the plan.
The short answer is – yes we’re going to have communion again and very soon. As a matter of fact we’ll be launching our drive-thru communion next week. Then we’ll be allowing for a virtual approach for those who desire to participate in the weeks that follow depending on how long this shelter in place order lasts.
The long and short of the matter is communion is a gift God has given and entrusted to his church. It’s still the Lord’s Supper. It’s not my supper or yours. It’s not the church’s supper. It’s not a denominational supper or a supper that can only take place in a building. I’m a firm believer that God promises to be a part of HIS supper wherever and however we take it.
We’ve allowed for variances of types of bread from wafers to homemade to gluten free to you name it. We use wine or grape juice. We stand or kneel. We gather at one table or file through a continuous line. We take it to the home bound and hospitalized. We’ve adapted to these methods over time to make sure God’s people are served well with the blessings of this tremendous gift. No one questions the validity of the sacrament when we change the method of distribution or type of bread or variety of wine.
Not everyone will agree with our decision here. But frankly it’s the LORD’S supper and unless the Scripture can show that this provision is against God’s desire then it’s full steam ahead! Know my friends that I’m praying for you as you navigate these uncharted times.
Instead of picking each other apart for not doing things the way we want them to go, let’s support each other and encourage each other. Be well my friends and happy Holy Week!