What is this and why is it helpful?
Communion is one of the two sacraments that most churches acknowledge – the other being baptism. A sacrament is an outward physical action that symbolises an inner intention or grace. And communion was one of the commands that Jesus instructed his disciples to follow … to ‘do this in remembrance of me’.
What are we remembering? In short, we are remembering the great sacrifice of our sin being paid for by Jesus giving up his life on the cross – for him to say that all sin and death stops here at the cross. However, God’s love doesn’t stop there! Jesus was raised from death in resurrection life so that even death could not hold him, entrap him, curse him, kill him, no – death was never to be the victor. This resurrection life is now offered to each and every one of us, so as we surrender our whole lives to him, Jesus leads us into a life that has meaning and purpose, a life filled with love and hope in a wonderful God. And when we surrender our whole selves and partner with this marvellous, wonderful God, there is nothing in all creation that can ever separate you from him and his love that is ready to redeem not only your life, but the world and all creation. WOW!
Over the centuries there have developed numerous understandings of communion that emphasise slightly different strands of theology. Each one tends to focus more carefully on one or two meanings, and it’s important for us to come to know and understand the reasons why they are slightly different.
There are many ways to share in communion, from the simple act of breaking bread together, to a crafted liturgical act of sharing bread and wine. It is important that if you are attached to or part of an established denomination, out of respect you should check with those you are accountable to that all is in good order for you or others to celebrate communion within your gathering.