Following my post entitled “Communion to Go?” a good friend of mine suggested I write a post on how we can return to a biblical, historical, orthodox view of Communion. My hope is only to spur us on to greater love, adoration, and thanksgiving to our God the Father, Son, and Spirit.
One of my primary critiques of the common view of Communion in Evangelical churches, of which I attend, is that it has become incredibly individualistic. This may have something to do with our overall view of Communion in that we perceive it as only symbolic and perhaps we think, “This is when I remember what Jesus did for me.” However, this is not the only way it has been viewed historically. Some have stated that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus (Catholicism). Others believe that the elements remain the same but there is a real, spiritual presence of Christ in the bread and wine (Lutheranism). On the whole, Protestants simply believe it is symbolic, only a reminder. Is it a reminder? Absolutely. However, Is it only a reminder? I am not so sure.
A good friend of mine is Anglican and he explained that their view of Communion (which they partake in every week!) to me. He said that as we partake in the bread and wine we are joining all of creation and being lifted up together with them in worship to the Holy Trinity. There are a few terms that stick out to in this explanation: we, joining, all of creation, together, with them, Holy Trinity. Every single one of these terms points back to the reality that Communion, Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, or whatever you want to call it is Communal.
My fear is that we will continue down this road of arrogance that claims we don’t need anyone else. We may never say that with our lips but we proclaim it loudly in our attitude and it especially shows in our attitude toward communion. This is a time of celebration, remembrance, and joining with all creation in adoration, thanksgiving, and praise to our great God! It is not merely about your or my relationship with God. It is about the church joining together in one faith, one mind, one Baptism, to the our one God, the Father, Son, and Spirit.