At the risk of creating controversy and being labeled a heretic, let me assure you that you can miss communion and still go to heaven. We were “living dangerously,” according to some folks opinion, by having our normal Sunday assembly with our church family last week. We kept our distance, had sanitary-self-contained communion packets, and cancelled our usual Greeting Time, when we hug, shake hands, and just love to see each other. Before we began, I heard a sister in the foyer declare that she was leaving right after communion. I guess staying for the sermon was too much of a risk for her to take, but communion…that is a non-negotiable Act of Worship. There is probably no other element of our gathering that is more driven by a “check list” mentality than the Lord’s Supper. Get it done…and head for the lake or the BBQ!
With everyone isolated in our homes and all church activities being postponed for awhile, what are we going to do about taking communion? Take it as a family! Turn it into a truly memorable experience where you talk, share, teach, and do all the things it was originally intended to do, which was – be a togetherness event! That is what “communion” means. With that being said, if you can’t do or don’t want to do it alone or with so much on your mind – God understands. I believe Jesus gave communion to us to use as a tool to remember him, built love and togetherness with one another, and to remind us that we are in a life-long relationship with him that will grow and move into eternity.
Unfortunately, hoop-jumping mentality and sacramental elevation turned Jesus’ simple dinner reminder into a legalistic list of “do’s and don’t’s”. When he shared it, he used simple, everyday, every meal items that would be easy for them to find, use, and remember. It was never meant to be proof of discipleship or love; it was never meant to be a control devise for church obedience; and it was never about the kind of bread or juice. It was about stopping your meal and taking a moment to remember and share what God did for us through Jesus. And folks, it was never about which day it was to be taken. Acts 20:7 could have been talking about a meal and the following events took place Saturday evening. Jesus gave it to us on Thursday night! Paul mentioned that in 1 Cor.11, which would have been a great place to point out, “but now it’s only done on Sunday.” I love Sunday communion, but it’s a tool to use not a hoop to jump through. It’s a heart that remembers Him not a correct act of worship.
Use the tool if you can. Use what works for you if it helps you remember that it was a real body and it was real blood that was on that cross two thousand years ago. Please don’t feel guilty or feel like you have failed God if you can’t or don’t take communion. There are plenty of other tools that God has given us to help us draw closer to him and help other do the same. And – Lord willing, this virus thing is not going to be around forever. Hopefully, we will be back together soon.