We will have our first online communion service for our church family Sunday, September 27 at 10:30 AM. We will be happy to deliver a prepackaged juice and wafer set to each home.
Of course each home can also provide its own bread and juice for it too. Jesus and His followers used wine and unleavened bread, but it is simplest to use grape juice and whatever bread or crackers you have available. Using juice is a great way to involve children while also being sensitive to anyone who might not drink alcohol. If you really want to use unleavened bread, a matzo cracker is a great option. If you can’t find grape juice, another juice will do. What’s important is focusing on the meaning of this spiritual symbol.
What is communion all about?
The most famous story of communion in the Bible is the story of The Last Supper. It was Jesus’ last dinner with His disciples before He was killed. You can read the story (and if you’re going to host communion you’ll definitely want to) in Matthew 26, Luke 22, and Mark 14. It happened as part of the celebration of Passover which was actually a festival that began in the Old Testament period. Jewish people would have celebrated Passover as a way to remember how God brought them out of Egypt and spared their lives in so many ways. The eating of the bread and drinking of the wine that led to what we call communion is still a regular part of celebrating Passover that Jewish people and some Christians celebrate each year.
With Passover as the setting, Jesus took the bread, broke it, yet didn’t follow the typical Passover tradition. He said, “Eat. This is My body.” Then, with the cup of wine, He explained further.
And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” Matthew 26:27-28 NLT
In Luke’s Gospel, he included a few more of Jesus’ words from that evening, “do this in remembrance of me.” Those six words, and the Apostle Paul’s reminder in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, are the motivation for why we take communion together as Jesus followers. Jesus asked us to carry out this simple tradition to remember that He gave His life for our lives. That He was poured out to wash away our sins. Like baptism, communion is a spiritual symbol and reminder of what Jesus has done. But it holds power not only as a symbol, it also reminds us to invite the Holy Spirit to examine our lives and to continue to do His work of washing us by the grace of Jesus.