|Three Questions to Consider Before Participating in the Lord’s Supper at Immanuel.|
Holy Communion is a precious gift … which calls for an important decision.
There are several different teachings about Holy Communion in the Christian Church. Each teaching stands in contrast to the others. Different understandings of what Communion brings to us, what it actually does for us and who should receive Communion divide churches. These divisions have caused a lot of confusion concerning who should commune with whom. Some Christians believe that the loving action is to open communion to everyone. Other Christians understand that excluding some people may be the only truly loving option.
How do you know if you should participate in Holy Communion at Immanuel Lutheran Church? This page seeks to help answer that question by asking three questions of its own:
Do you publicly confess what we confess?
Are you prepared?
As you examine each of these questions you will be able to determine whether or not you should join us in celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
|Do you believe as we do?|
|What do you believe about the Lord’s Supper? How does that compare to what the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) believes and teaches? There are three fundamental teachings about the Lord’s Supper that should help you determine if you believe as we do:
If you do not believe what we believe about the Lord’s Supper we strongly urge you in Christian love not to commune with us for your own spiritual well-being. We want you to receive this gift for your benefit, not to your detriment.
|Do you publicly confess what we confess?|
|If you personally believe what the LCMS confesses about the Lord’s Supper the next issue to consider is your public confession about Communion. Your “public confession” is the official teachings of the church body to which you belong. If you belong to a church that is not in agreement with the LCMS’s teachings on Communion then your public confession is different than ours. By communing with us you are publicly acknowledging that you believe and confess what the LCMS teaches about Holy Communion.
We do not want you to act in a way that would contradict — even deny — your public confession.
|Are you prepared?|
|Everyone should prepare themselves for receiving the precious gift of the Lord’s Supper. Such preparation includes examining ourselves to see if we believe in Christ and his promises, we recognize that we are sinful, we desire to receive the forgiveness offered in the Supper and we intend to amend our sinful lives with the help of the Holy Spirit. In addition to being prepared through self-examination, each person should be “worthy” of receiving the Lord’s body and blood. A “worthy” communicant is one who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Worthiness is not a matter of being good enough to receive these gifts, but rather it is a matter of believing that Christ’s body and blood are given in this sacrament and that they are given to you personally for the forgiveness of your sins.
Anyone who believes this — no matter how sinful they may be — is prepared and worthy to receive the Lord’s Supper.
|Should you commune at Immanuel Lutheran Church?|
Holy Communion is a privilege, not a right.
Participating in the Lord’s Supper is not a matter of being good enough, but of being prepared and “worthy” by faith in Christ’s promises attached to the Holy Supper.If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the three questions on this page, we invite you to commune with us.If you aren’t sure about your answers or if you have questions about what we believe, teach and confess about the Lord’s Supper, please see one of our pastors or elders before joining us in Holy Communion.