Thoughts on Communion

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

If when you come to worship God, God has more of your heart than any creature in the world has, God accepts that – Gospel Worship, Jeremiah Burroughs

Today (Sunday) we gathered together around “The Lords’ Table” also known as communion and in some circles “The Eucharist”. We’ve haven’t done it for a while and it’s something we should do more regularly. However, we need to remember that it’s not a ritual. Some time ago I became convicted that we were not really giving it significance and concerned that we might edge towards ritual over relationship we just paused and I have been thinking and praying about how we conduct our “communion” service. One book that I turned to was “Gospel Worship” by Jeremiah Burroughs (quote above). He was an English Puritan who not only a non-conformist but one of only a handful of the Westminister assembly who opposed the assemblies Presbyterian majority. If I’m honest I didn’t read all 300 pages – a series of 14 sermons on the verse above – but here are some things that I did glean about Communion:

  • In order to take part:
    • a person must know what the Lord’s Supper signifies
    • our sin should be upon our hearts, but only in such a way that we understand it through the gospel. Our sin should weigh heavy on us, but our delight in Christ’ atonement should be the lifting of our heads.
    • we must search out our souls. Just as the Jews purged leaven, we should undertake a degree of soul-searching before we come to take communion.
    • we should come hungry for Jesus Christ. This is how Burroughs put it: “Oh, that I might have more of Christ, that I might meet with Christ, that I might have some further manifestation of Jesus Christ, that I might have my soul further united to the Lord Christ, and so have further influence of Christ to my soul.”
    • we should bring faith. It’s an act of faith. We’re saying “this is the bread and wine, Jesus’ flesh and blood”.
    • we should bring joy, despite the broken-heartedness, joy must be exercised.
    • we should have thankful hearts. In this one act, we are reminded that God has given us something far better than anything else – redemption by His blood.
    • we should come and renew our faith and repentance once again.
    • we should ask God to relight the fire of love not only for Him, but also for others.

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