Holy Communion (The Lord's Supper)
Here at TMC, we practice “Open Table” in that we invite all baptized Christians regardless of denominations to join us in celebrating God’s Grace in our lives. Holy Communion is always held on the first Sunday of every month.
While baptism is the once-for-all symbol of our conversion and entry into the Christian life by God's grace, the Holy Communion is the sign of God's continuing grace to Christians.
The background of the Holy Communion is undoubtedly the Passover feast celebrated by the people of Israel just before they left Egypt to go to the Promised Land of Canaan under the leadership of Moses. Jesus deliberately celebrated the Jewish Passover feast on the night before His death to draw the parallel of His sacrificial death to the Passover Lamb. (See Luke 22:15)
He himself introduced the symbols of bread and wine.
In the original Passover described in Exodus 12:1-30, the Israelites were told to smear the blood of the sacrificed lamb over the door frames of their houses. These houses will be 'passed-over' by the angel of death when he struck down the first-born of Egypt in judgment.
In taking the bread and the wine symbolizing Jesus' body and blood, we are reminded of Jesus' death on the cross which makes it possible for us to enter God's presence through faith.
The Meaning of the Holy Communion
It must be emphasized that Jesus Himself conducted the first Communion and introduced the symbols of bread and wine. He also commanded that this be done in remembrance of Him and the new covenant that He initiated through the Cross. (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:17-23)
a) The Past
In 1 Corinthians 11:23-33, Paul gives a brief outline of the some Holy Communion essentials. The elements of bread and wine symbolizing the death of Jesus remind us that Jesus has died for our sins. That single act in the past has saved us. The old life is gone and the new life has come.
b) The Present
As we are reminded of Christ's death, we ought to examine our present lives. Are we living the new life of commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ? Each communion should be a time of recommitment to the new lifestyle following the steps of the Master.
Our Methodist Communion always begins with corporate confession.
Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will, we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors,
and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
c) The Future
It is a time of proclaiming that Jesus will return as the Judge of the world. He will return to take us back to Himself. Then, we will know the fullness of His salvation. We look forward to the great Banquet of the Lamb.
d) Communion with Christ
It is also a time when we experience His presence now with us. The Lord desires this fellowship with His people. He longs to reveal Himself and to nourish us spiritually. The communion is about communion with Jesus. (See John 6:53-58)
e) Unity in Christ
Paul explains the one loaf used to symbolize the unity of all believers. When we kneel together for communion, we realize the unity of the body of Christ. It is therefore also a time to examine our relationships and to seek forgiveness and reconciliation before the Lord. We are to allow God's love and unity to restore us in