One of the divisive issues throughout the history of the church has been how to take communion appropriately. There are all kinds of questions about who should take communion, where communion should be taken, and even what kind of bread and juice should be used. It is unfortunate that we have been divided on what was intended to be a unifying experience for the Church and their Savior. My hope would be that Christians can take steps to unify in their worship practice, with communion as a (or even the) central component of the Church’s gathering. While we should not be divided on this issue, we do want to take Communion in a worthy manner. The Apostle Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 11:27, that we ought to do so in respect to the central pursuit of the Gospel. With that in mind, I offer up five reasons to take communion “as often as you meet.
(1) The Command
“Do this in remembrance of me” from Luke 22:18-22 has in itself an instruction of continuance, consistency, and constance. This is something that marks us as believers, that we take communion together in remembrance of Christ, his sacrifice, and the forgiveness of sins. “As often as you meet,” shows our continual recognition that salvation is found in Christ alone, through his death, burial, and resurrection.
(2) The Connection
Jesus was also connecting this moment at the Last Supper to the Exodus from Egypt, when Israel was freed from slavery. Deuteronomy 5:15 tells the people of Israel to observe this Sabbath day, where they were freed from slavery and rescued to eventual life in the Promised Land. In this way Communion in the Church has a strong connection to Passover and Shabbat.
(3) The Passage
In 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 says to, “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” In other words, there was instruction to remember Christ together as often as we take up the cup. Paul is exhorting the Church to take the opportunity in corporate gatherings to participate in the communion of saints.
(4) The Pattern
In Acts 2:42-47, we see that the early church was practicing communion as a normative part of their Christian worship. If we think once a week is a lot, it appears that the early Christians were meeting “every day” to worship the Lord and commune with Him and one another.
(5) The Purpose
When meeting every day was not possible, Christians met weekly. Acts 20:7-12 reveals that Christians came together the first day of the week specifically “to break bread.” In other words, communion wasn’t here just an add-on, it was central to the Christian gathering. Christ has indeed freed us from our slavery to sin by his death, burial, and resurrection. As a result, this remembrance is central to the life and worship of the Lord by the Church.
May we, too, make the Lord’s Communion central to our worship gatherings, in and doing so, may we do this “as often as we meet.”