Background – Holy Communion

Holy Communion will, if the Lord tarries, be celebrated next Sunday morning. Jesus established this meal and commanded his followers to repeat it until he returns. Just as he did, we will eat bread (representing his body) and drink wine (representing his shed blood), in remembrance of his death. In some mysterious fashion which no theologian has ever been able fully to describe, his death made it possible for us, once more, to be friends, rather than enemies of God. The word “Communion” means “to have a connection with.” Jesus once described himself as “the vine” and those who followed him, who accepted him as their Lord as “the branches.” You can read this story in John 15.1-6. Only those who have this kind of connection with Jesus should receive the bread and wine. (Being a Baptist or a member of First Baptist Church is not a requirement for receiving Holy Communion in this church. The requirement is that you are a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.)

How to Prepare for Holy Communion

Even if are a Christian, that is if you confess (accept) Jesus as your Lord (in charge of your life), you should still prepare to receive Holy Communion. Many Christians have found that reading the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.1-17) or even their church covenant is a good starting place for preparation.

As you read, ask yourself “how have I measured up to this in the last month.” This can help you become aware of particular sins in your life. Take these to God in prayer, confess them and repent of them (repentance means being sorry for having offended God and turning around in the opposite direction from sin). If you are at odds with someone else, particularly a fellow Christian, you need to make a genuine effort to set things right and be reconciled before taking Communion.

Joyful Holy Communion

Despite the solemn nature of Holy Communion and the importance of preparing to receive, this is to be a JOYFUL meal. It shouldn’t look or feel like a funeral! This meal celebrates what Jesus accomplished by his death and points us toward what will be the most fabulous banquet and party ever – when Jesus returns in triumph.

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