SARA JANE’S THOUGHTS ON RETURNING TO PRE-COVID COMMUNION PRACTICE
As you may have heard, starting this Sunday we will be resuming our celebration of the Lord’s Supper as it was before Covid changed our practice. In both services, the biggest change is that communion will be served to each one of us, rather than each of us grabbing our own pre-packaged elements. This might seem like a small thing, but in fact it’s rich in theological symbolism. At the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Christ himself is our host, just as truly as he will be at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb that we read about in Revelation 19. Since he is not physically present (yet!), I represent him to you and you represent him to me as we serve each other communion. We cannot be Christ to ourselves!
Now, how we eat this feast together will vary at 9:30 and 11. At 9:30, the congregation will remain seated as the deacons and elders of our church pass plates of cut bread and small glasses of juice between the pews. This may seem incidental, but it is in fact highly symbolic. We sit in the pews, just as you would sit around a table. We’re sitting around the Lord’s table – literally in our sanctuary, as the pews curve around the place the communion table stands. We pass the bread and the juice to each other, serving each other and exercising the priesthood of all believers. We will eat the bread and drink the cup together, because we are one in Christ.
At 11, we will do things slightly differently. Pastor Shawn and I will each hold the bread and the cup, and everyone who wishes to participate in communion will come up to the Table to take a piece of the bread and dip it in the cup. We call this intinction, and it is also rich in symbolism. As we each approach the table, we remember that all are equally invited into God’s presence. Each of us approaches the Table where our Lord is the host and receives the physical representation of his love for us. Since we are tearing from the same loaf of bread and dipping it in juice that visibly came from the same pitcher, we are emphasizing the unity we find in Christ.
Finally, a small reminder: whether or not you are a member at Crestview or consider yourself Presbyterian, we welcome ALL baptized believers to communion. If you’re not baptized but would like to participate, Pastor Shawn and I would love to talk with you about making that commitment to follow Jesus.