We recently moved to weekly Communion on Sunday mornings. The two best reasons I have ever heard for not doing it weekly:
- It will become less special
- In order to really guard the Table, we should do it less
Regarding number 1, is there really anything else that we treat like that? Regarding number 2, is there really anything else we treat like that? For both, I think the answer is to just do it well every time. I try to kiss my wife goodbye everyday when I go to work. As long as I really mean it, I think it is a valid kiss. And even sometimes when my mind is not as fully there as it should be, it is still a good thing.
To those I will add one more possible reason for not doing it weekly: in Calvin’s Geneva, the civil government did not allow it. Ok, maybe in that case, that is a good reason to not do it weekly.
Outside of that, there are a lot of reasons to do it every time the church gathers for worship on the Lord’s Day:
- It appears to be the NT pattern (Acts 2.42, Acts 20.7)
- As often as you do it, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Cor 11.26). I repeat, as often as you do it, you proclaim the death of Christ!
- It forces Christians to examine themselves every week
- It helps non-Christians in attendance see who the Body of Christ is, and understand they are not a part of it yet
- It is the central benefit to church membership- anyone under the discipline of a church should be barred from the Lord’s Table; taking the Lord’s Supper once a month is like barring everyone three times a month
I could go on and on. It really comes down to what you think “this is my body” and “this is my blood” really means. Unless you say “I think Jesus meant this is not his body and blood,” I think you always give up a good thing if you do not practice it on any given Sunday.
What it is not:
- an evangelistic rally of some sort- any church who makes Sunday morning more geared for the non-Christian than it is for the Christian is at best a parachurch ministry
- the church- we often say “let’s go to church” on Sunday morning. We kind of know what we mean. Or do we? Any church who thinks of “church” as mainly Sunday morning is confusing a little bit what the church does versus who the church is
What it is:
- the main gathering of the church (Acts 20.7)
- a mixed gathering in most places I know of, where it is mostly the church, often mixed with visiting Christians looking for a church, and almost always mixed with some unbelievers who either think they are Christians or are looking into Christianity
- a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28)
- the main time of the week where the flock (Christians) are to be fed, pray together, fellowship, and break bread together (Acts 2.42)
- a great time for unbelievers to be saved (1 Corinthians 14.25); the church should evangelize 7 days a week, and they should not depend on the preacher to evangelize their friends, and Sundays are mainly for Christians to get fed. BUT, it is still a perfect time for the unbeliever to hear a skillful delivery of the gospel, and to see what the gospel does to the Church.
- It is a time of worship! It is for God. It is to please Him. It is to approach and engage the living God in exactly the way He desires to be worshiped. Every decision about Sunday morning that does not begin with God in mind is a decision starting off on the wrong foot.
What we try to do on Sunday morning is make it so for God, that it will automatically be foreign to the unbeliever. If an unbeliever ever feels right at home in our worship gathering, something is seriously missing. One of the things we have been trying to communicate recently to guests is that if they are not a Christian: 1) We are so glad they came! 2) Until they become a Christian, they can only observe worship; they cannot truly participate.
May the Lord increase the number of His worshipers on the Lord’s Day!