I don’t know about you, but I have never taken communion while by myself. It has always been a part of the worship service where all those present partake together.
The purpose of communion is to remember what Jesus did by dying on the cross. It is a way for us to proclaim his death until he comes, as instructed by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 11.
Yes, we all partake of the cup and the bread together, but what is the point of taking communion at the same time?
5 ways communion develops the body of Christ
- Taking communion together is what Jesus commands us to do
The night before Jesus was betrayed and taken to trial, he gathered all 12 apostles together to have one final meal before his death.
In Luke 22, he passes a cup of wine and tells them that it is his blood. Then, he passes around a piece of bread and tells them that it is his body.
Next, he tells them that whenever they eat and drink these emblems, they should think of his blood that was shed and body that was broken.
He told them to do this in remembrance of him.
For the past 2,000 years, we have taken communion in remembrance of his sacrifice.
- Taking communion together is what Paul instructs us to do because Jesus said to do it
In addition to Jesus’ command to take communion, Paul tells his readers in 1 Corinthians to take communion whenever they gather to proclaim Jesus’ death until he comes.
When we all take communion together, we all share in the hope of Jesus’ return one day.
It serves as a reminder that he WILL come back for those who love him.
- Taking communion together promotes unity of faith in Jesus alone
By taking communion together, all followers of Jesus acknowledge that Jesus is the only one who has saved us from sin and death.
As said by Jesus in John 14, he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father except through him.
- Taking communion together allows everyone to experience God’s grace in spite of our sin
As Paul later instructs in 1 Corinthians, believers are to first examine themselves before taking communion.
When all believers do this together, they acknowledge that they are all sinful; as Romans 3:10 says, there is no one righteous—not one.
It is also a time for everyone to remember God’s grace: he sent his only son to die for us!
We mock him, betray him, and sin against him, yet he still loves us.
- Taking communion together celebrates our hope in Jesus
After we confess our sin and thank Jesus for saving us, we celebrate the hope we have together.
This part of communion then translates into corporate worship.
Is there a certain way to do communion?
There is not a definite way to do communion, only that we do it whenever we meet.
Based on experience, I think it is effective to read the passage in 1 Corinthians 11 where Paul reminds us of what Jesus said and then of what we are to think of when we take communion.
I’ve been to one church where they said people could have a social time while taking communion.
I’ve been to another church where they handed out the elements row by row during a time of silence.
I’ve been to another one where people line up and dip their cracker in a cup of juice while worship music played in the background.
Another important thing to note is encouraging all visitors who are believers to take communion along with everyone else.
At the same time, instruct those who are not yet Christians to reflect on what they believe while others take communion.
What should we think about during communion?
- Think about sins you need to confess
If you are a believer, Jesus forgave you for your sin, but you still have to acknowledge your sin and thank God for forgiving you.
- Thank God for his grace in sending his Son to die for us
God planned to send Jesus even after Adam and Eve disobeyed him. That mercy extends to those who place their faith in him.
- Remember Jesus’ ministry, righteousness, and sacrifice
Think of how Jesus lived a perfect life, taught others about the kingdom of God, and then died for people who despised him.
I also think Jesus wanted us to remember him out of love, too.
When I remember him, I think of how much I love him.
- Celebrate that he lives and that he will come back one day
This is the most exciting part for me to think about.
Jesus promised he’d return and we as Christians depend on him to keep his promise to us!
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