One of the most important gifts Christ gave to His Church is a special meal we call "The Lord's Supper." This meal is an important part of our life of faith, and we celebrate it often (1st and 3rd Sundays each month, and festivals).
The Lord's Supper
Before receiving the Lord's Supper, there are a number of things a person must consider.
- When Jesus instituted the Holy Supper, He said very clearly that its chief blessing is the forgiveness of sin. (Matt. 26:28) Thus genuine repentance is necessary for the proper reception of this Supper. Otherwise, "Whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:27)
- Jesus Said that the bread is His body and the wine is His blood, given for us to eat and drink. (Matt. 26:26-28) We accept His words at face value and believe His body and blood to be truly present in this Meal. "Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself." (1 Cor. 11:29)
- Furthermore, fellowship at the Lord's Table is a profession of unity in faith. (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:16-17) This unity of faith permits our proclamation of Christ's death to be clear and explicit. (1 Cor. 11:26)
- Because of these considerations, "A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup." (1 Cor. 11:28)
It is clear from the Bible that the Lord's Supper is a great blessing for Christ's people, but that is also holds great danger for those who do not receive it properly. For this reason, and for the love of souls, St. John Lutheran Church has established the following guidelines for Communion attendance.
Guidelines for Communion Attendance
We welcome to the Lord's Table:
Those who are truly sorry for their sins, who forgive others as they are forgiven, and who pledge to correct their lives with the aid of the Holy Spirit through worship, the study of God's Word, and cheerful service;
- Those who truly believe in Christ, relying on Him as their Savior from sin; (John 3:16)
- Those who believe without reservation Christ's words, "This is My body; this is My blood, given and shed for the forgiveness of sins."
- Those who have publicly confirmed their unity of faith with us as current members of this or of a sister Missouri Synod congregation;
- Those who are able to examine themselves regarding these considerations (This would exclude small children, those not yet instructed in the faith, the unconscious, etc.)