This evening while I was on Facebook someone shared a story that was written by someone who is part of the LDS Chuch since she is LDS(Mormon). Since I live in Utah, I know many that are LDS even though I have never been to the LDS Chuch. But, I found the article interesting. I did post a comment on the article she posted, but I wanted to write a bit more about taking the Lords Supper- Communion or Sacrament. The LDS call it Sacrament, the Catholic Church calls it Communion and at my church which is non-denominational we call it the Lords Supper.
This is the link to the article that I was reading in LDS Living
Here is the comment that I posted on her page.
I had someone sitting in my pew at church when my Pastor handed the plates to the ushers. I always take part in the Lords Supper. The person that was in my pew didn’t take it and I asked why they didn’t. He told me that he was taking what the Bible said seriously and that he needed to examine his heart and to truly have a repentive heart and he didn’t feel like it was just a part of the service, it was important to him. He was searching his heart in preparation for the Lords Supper.
When we take part in the Lords Supper, we are united in Christ and we are fellow-shipping with Him. He was a place in his life where he was searching for answers. He could have easily sat there and taken the juice and the bread, but he was doing what we all should be doing. Our pastor that we had then would always make sure that people understand what the meaning is and that we are to examine our hearts before taking part.
I wanted to go into why it is important to examine our hearts and that we are believers in Christ. Well, this is from my understanding. Hopefully my pastor will make a comment that would go into things from a pastors perspective. Since Pastor Ray is pretty awesome in my views when it comes to interpreting the Bible, I hope he will share. Since he reads my blogs, this is a pretty direct hint lol.
In the comment that I left on my friends Facebook page, I shared that we need to examine our hearts. I haven’t really had a pastor before Pastor Dean that would talk about the importance of 1 Corinthians 11:26-29
1 Cor. 11:26-29, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.”
I don’t know about you, but I have friends that goes to all kinds of churches. There are also a gazillion different translations of the Bible. So, naturally you are going to get a variety of answers when it comes to what the Bible says about taking part in the Lords Supper, Communion or Sacrament. I’m pretty sure my answers to what the Bible says may not be accurate. But, I will try my best to explain what I think. So, first, what does it mean to be taking the bread and the cup in an “unworthy manner?”
- When we are told that we need to examine our hearts and to ask for forgiveness in a sincere manner, that we would have to really mean it when we ask for forgiveness. I know that I don’t remember every sin I have commented. I will ask God to put my sins on my heart so I can repent for them for reals, not just for the moment. If I am asking God to forgive me for something like wanting to deck someone just so I can take part in the Lords Supper and then right after church I go ahead and deck the person, that is not sincere. When you take part in the Lords supper in a willful and with an un-confessed sin, I would think that would be a problem.
- I would like to add one thing for the above reasons and that would be about asking God to put your sins on your heart. I did that before and God took me literally. It made for a very long week for myself. The reason why it did is because all of a sudden the things I have done to hurt others came flooding in. I was emotionally spent after a while. But, at the same time, I felt a sense of freedom that I haven’t had in a long time. While God put these things on my heart, I needed to know them. I needed that forgiveness. I was a broken person who didn’t think I did any really bad things. Things like killing someone or ruining someones life. The things that were pent-up and buried deep in my heart came to surface. When everything came to light, I was able to sleep and live my life in a way that I haven’t for many years. This was about 15 or so years ago and it was amazing.
- Actually I think the number one thing should be that you are a believer in Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ and you don’t have an understanding of what it means to take part, then you might want to pass the plate to the next person. Some have even said that you must be baptized in order to partake of it. Our church has it where any believer in Christ can take part and they don’t have to be a member of our church.
One of the thoughts that came to mind in the article is that the usher was looking at the person who didn’t take the meal instead of the person. I think in general people do that. When I was a deaconess at my church and I had to prepare and help pass out the juice and bread, I would know who didn’t talk part and who did. It would be on the back of my mind off and on during the week. We are fast to judge others when it comes to sin and such, but we have a hard time examining our own lives and sins. That can be a dangerous thing to do. It’s not up to us to determine if someone is worthy. That is between them and God.
Luke 6:52 NIV: How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
There are many Christians who don’t feel like they are worthy of taking the Lords Supper, Communion or Sacrament. There were times when I didn’t partake of it because I had some anger issues when it came to God and I was feeling like my middle name was Job. I didn’t feel like I should be taking part because I knew at that time I wasn’t ready or willing to ask for forgiveness. I had to work things out and God gave me the time and space to do that. He knew I would come around since He knows me better than anyone ever.
Everyone is a sinner and everyone has to deal with their stuff and I had a lot of STUFF. None of us are exempt from sinning unless we are Jesus Christ. If you think you are Jesus Christ, you have a whole other set of problems. If you have sincerly repented of the sins you have committed and you are trying, it is OK to take part in the Lords Supper. I know that even when I am struggling with sin and I am waging this war on my sins, that I have depend upon Jesus Christ and His grace. I find it extremely important to take part because I need to and I depend upon Jesus Christs grace and mercy.
A number of churches and my church is one of them that practices open communion. When we first moved to Southern Utah, our church was where you had to be a church member and baptized in order to take part of the Lords Supper. The church I went to in Arizona was this way also. I don’t know if the Nazarene Church has changed or not, but at that time you had to be a member and baptized. The problem I have when we start saying who can or can’t take part in the Lord’s Supper is that we were then judging them.
The way I see it is that you can go to church all day long, but that doesn’t make you a Christian. One person I know goes to church all the time. But, I also know that while he believes in Jesus, there are a number of things that he doesn’t believe. For example he says he doesn’t believe there is anything after this life. I am very close to this person and many things he says doesn’t make any sense when it comes to being a believer in Christ. I have noticed lately by some of his comments that his views must be changing. He will make comments like, “when they die, they may be in for a surprise since they have been doing evil things and they may be shocked about where they will spend eternity.” I have to say I about fell off my chair lol. I didn’t expect that and I didn’t reply. I was in shock, but in a good way.
In my opinion and I am hoping I got this right, a person MUST be a true believer in Christ. Not just a person who believes when they feel like it. Or someone who believes when it is convenient. Which, basically means that they are OK with believing as long as they can keep doing what they want and they don’t have to be accountable. Sorry to say, it doesn’t work that way. You can partake of the Lords Supper if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and have accepted that He is the Son of God and that He died for your sins.
Ephesians 1:6-7(NIV): 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Do This in Rememberence of Me- What Are We Remembering?
- The Lord’s Supper is to help us remember what the Lord did for us.
- We remember that Jesus Christ came to live here on Earth for 33 yrs and He died for us.
- He was beaten, mocked and had nails hammered into his hands and feet. After that He was hung on the cross and then put into a tomb. All of this with his earthly parents, loved ones, beleivers and non beleivers watching and gawking. He was dying not only for their sins but the sins of all mankind.
- 1 Peter 2:24,“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed.”
- We remember that even though He was going through horrible pain, the kind we would never experience, he said in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” We remember our Lord’s loud cry of loneliness in Matthew 27:46, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”