At Bread of Life, communion is offered each week at the 10:30 am service and on the first and third Saturday 5:00 pm service. Communion may also be served at Holiday and special occasion services.
What happens in communion? Biblically referred to as the Lord’s Supper, communion is a spiritual meal. It is one of God’s ways of allowing us to participate in the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is done as a body as well.
According to 1 Corinthians 11, here at Bread of Life, we believe that Christ is really present upon receiving the bread and the wine. So, forgiveness is given, but judgment also to the unbelieving. John 6:33 tells us, “the Bread of God is He who comes to give life to the world”. That word, “life”, is to be understood as eternal life received by faith. Verse 6:55 teaches us that “His flesh is food and His blood is drink indeed”. Forgiveness and grace are given to a willing and faithful person, which is why we should be old enough to understand what is happening, to examine ourselves before God, and to believe in the Lord’s body.
Ongoing forgiveness is needed because we are ongoing sinners. Each of us are in need of the continual, renewing grace of God. Martin Luther called it a great exchange. We bring our sins and weaknesses by faith and God trades it for His forgiveness and strength by grace. What a good deal!
Some have asked, “When can my kids begin communion?”, or “Why so frequent?” or “Why not every week?”
The Bible gives no clear lines regarding these questions. Traditionally, Lutherans have begun communion after confirmation at about eighth grade. We now offer First Communion class for fifth graders. Ultimately, it is a decision for the parent to determine their child's readiness in light of the preceding paragraphs. The signal for receiving here is holding out your hand.
As far as how often, Martin Luther recommended at least four times per year. Many churches do it every week. Communing every week can become ritualistic and lose its’ meaning.
"Remember, forgiveness is not like fuel in a tank. While it is needed everyday, it never runs out because God’s grace is greater than our sin." Romans 5:20
Can someone other than the pastor give communion?
Yes, absolutely. While the pastor most frequently presides over the Lord’s supper, we need to be reminded that it is of no less value if offered by any believer. Luther and the reformers were very clear about this. The Roman Catholic Church attached it to the ‘holiness’ of the priest. The value of the body and blood given in communion have nothing to do with the person, and have everything to do with the promise of God delivered by His Word in communion. Each time we take communion, the Bible says, we proclaim His death. While you will mostly receive communion from a pastor at Bread of Life, we need to be careful not to communicate that it is less valid if given by a lay person.