Knysna Baptist Church – 2 April 2020
Communion at Home?
This week the elders of Knysna Baptist discussed whether Communion can be celebrated Virtually via the Internet, in an ‘online’ fashion.
We have concluded, “No!”. Communion is intrinsically about being together physically and so it is impossible to do “Communion” virtually or online. Therefore we will not be hosting online Communion services.
A very good article “Does Corona mean Communion on your Owna” by Andrew Wilson shows why, and you can read it here: https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/does_corona_mean_communion_on_your_owna
But the second question we asked was, “Can communion be celebrated in a home, even between only two believers, for example a husband and wife?” and the answer is, “Yes!”. We are providing this document as a simple guide for those who ever wish to do so, in their own time together.
a somber reflection
of Christ’s sacrifice
for all who put their faith in him.”
As Christians, we are disciples of Christ. In the Gospels, Jesus told his disciples to take Communion in remembrance of him. Therefore, we receive Communion because Jesus told us to. In the early church, Christians practiced Communion regularly in their homes meeting together to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of their Savior.
While Communion is a holy practice that should be practiced in churches, it does not have to happen only within the walls of a church or given by a church leader. Like those in the early church, we can gather together and break bread in remembrance of Him anytime.
Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
However, let us first stress some Critical points
If you wish to celebrate Communion at home, you must first agree with these points otherwise you may be partaking in it in an unworthy manner before the Lord. Please take this seriously, because the Body of Christ is serious to Him.
Communion is intended by Jesus for the entire church body together.
While it is absolutely fine to share communion in the home, it must never replace Communion with the whole church body. It is wrong to cut off your brothers and sisters from Communion with you. Therefore, missing Communion in the church gathering at this time is exceptional. Missing communion in the church should only happen when there is no other option, such as physical illness, a serious life threatening situation, a national crisis or some other situation that justifies staying home. In fact, when we celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of the month, you should make especial effort to not miss that service!
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42 (NASB)
Communion is only for Born-again Believers.
Communion is not a tradition for a biological family, but a blessing for a spiritual family. There are some homes where spouses or children do not confess absolute faith in Jesus Christ. It would be wrong in that home for those unbelievers to join in Communion. Regarding children and ages, there is no verse that restricts young children from participating. Therefore the parents are accountable before the Lord to decide whether their children show signs of genuine faith, and so either include them or let them be somewhere else (or watch) during the communion celebration.
It is called “Communion” because it overcomes conflict.
Communion represents “the kind of ‘community’ that cannot be dissolved by petty conflict or disagreement. As we eat together around the table of Christ, we’re called to a recognition that we are at the table of a kingdom. And we are called there to recognize the presence of the King — not so much in the elements themselves or in our individual spiritual reflection but in the body he has called together, a body of sinners like us. Only then will we really get what the Scriptures mean when they call us to ‘fellowship.’ “. So let the power and grace of Christ draw you into forgiveness and harmony before you celebrate it.
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:21 (NASB)
A typical means of celebrating Communion
1. Prepare the bread and drink
- Have the Communion symbols ready (bread for Christ’s body and wine/juice for Christ’s blood)
- Have a Bible ready. The main reading below are from Matthew 26
2. Prepare yourselves
Encourage everyone to take a few minutes before coming to the Communion to prepare themselves. God warns us in 1 Corinthians 11:27 to not take of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner.
- Search your heart for unconfessed sin (1 Corinthians 11:23-30).
- Confess your sin to God (1 John 1:9).
- If there is unresolved conflict in your life, seek reconciliation (Matthew 5:23).
3. Remember Jesus together through the Communion meal
- You could have a time of worship, praise and glorifying God. You could start with prayer, read Scripture and sing one or more hymns or worship songs before taking communion.
A good scripture to include:
Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16–17
- Distribute pieces of bread to the believers. (Tearing apart a common loaf of bread and drinking from a common cup, were practices that were common in New Testament communities.)
- Read Matthew 26:26.
- Pray over the bread and eat it together. The prayer should be one that at least thanks Christ that His body suffered so that ours can be saved. His death brought us forgiveness.
- Distribute the filled cup(s) to the believers.
- Read Matthew 26:27-29.
- Pray over the drink and drink it together. The prayer could be one of thanking God for both the security we have in Jesus’ shed blood. Thank the Father for saving believers and that one day you and any believers with you will see Him face-to-face
- Continue in prayer as the Holy Spirit leads in thanks, and also on behalf of the whole body of believers.