During a summer in High School I recall being at a church youth conference in another state, meeting other youth from other areas of the country, all united in our Christian experience. On our last night, a special communion service was planned. We met in the loft of an old, converted barn. After some comments and scriptures were shared, we could approach the table and partake of the communion elements. (Who knew we’d have bats flying down from the rafters—definitely a memorable communion service).
The problem about that communion service, or most communion services from my background and probably yours, was the emphasis of remembering your sins before you took communion. Does that sound familiar?
For years, religion wants us to focus on our sins, our faults, and yes, even failures before we can take communion. I think the church has missed the point. Jesus wants us to focus on Him and what He has provided.
Jesus told His disciples what communion means in Luke 22:19-20. It is in remembrance of Him, the new covenant in His blood. It isn’t remembering every single sin you ever did and concentrating on those. It’s remembering that every single sin you ever did (or will do) is already covered under His blood. He wiped away your sins and has accepted you as His dearly loved child. You’re in a new covenant now with God through Christ.
That’s why the Apostle Paul wanted folks to examine themselves to see if they’re in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5)—if they’re living a grace-filled life dependent on all that Jesus accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection. It wasn’t about having people doubt their salvation because they slipped up somewhere. We are to see what Jesus did for us through communion.
Let’s not make communion about our sins and how we’ve fallen short. Let’s embrace communion by seeing ourselves in God’s New Covenant of His Grace and renewing our mind and heart in all that He has done for us. That’s when communion won’t be confusing, and it starts with renewing our mind in the truth.