Communion Should Be Observed Every Week: A Young Seminarian’s Thoughts

In case this seems a redundant theme for me to cover, you are right. I preached a sermon series on John Wesley last fall, and here's the transcript.

I've felt convicted (a side-effect from my Church of God days) about the issue of communion ever since this sermon. According to Wesley, “…it is the duty of every Christian to receive the Lord's Supper as often as [they] can.” (Sermon 101: The Duty of Constant Communion)

Yet, the only experience I've had when it comes to communion – as far as my experience within the Wesleyan tradition – it is a once-a-month or less type of proposition.

In fact, I've had parishioners confess to me that they have or have envisioned themselves anticipating the weeks during which we would observe the sacrament, only to skip that particular day.

I know, right?

So – quietly – I am making preparations to observe communion on a regular basis. By that, I mean to begin practicing communion each and every Sunday.

Why?

First, if it's good enough for John Wesley, it's good enough for me.

Second, I don't think it's going to hurt anyone to put a little more liturgy and spiritual practice into their lives. In fact, Wesley talked about the immeasurable good which can come from it:

The grace of God given herein confirms to us the pardon of our sins, by enabling us to leave them. As our bodies are strengthened by bread and wine, so are our souls by these tokens of the body and blood of Christ. This is the food of our souls: This gives strength to perform our duty, and leads us on to perfection. If, therefore, we have any regard for the plain command of Christ, if we desire the pardon of our sins, if we wish for strength to believe, to love and obey God, then we should neglect no opportunity of receiving the Lord's Supper; then we must never turn our backs on the feast which our Lord has prepared for us. We must neglect no occasion which the good providence of God affords us for this purpose. This is the true rule: So often are we to receive as God gives us opportunity. Whoever, therefore, does not receive, but goes from the holy table, when all things are prepared, either does not understand his duty, or does not care for the dying command of his Saviour, the forgiveness of his sins, the strengthening of his soul, and the refreshing it with the hope of glory. (also Sermon 101)

It's not all sunshine and roses, but that's some pretty good stuff.

Not to mention the fact that we are talking about 10 to 15 minutes extra each Sunday.

Finally, it is an opportunity for the community of faith to gather together and exercise it's one voice. More frequently is the case that the community of faith – outside of Sunday morning – is seperated from itself. While there is plenty to be done about that other than communion, the eucharist is a great way to sneak in some more “community time.”

What do you think? Is weekley communion too much? Not enough?

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Peace.

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