To receive communion well means receiving the body and blood of Jesus, placing our hope in Him alone. But it also means receiving His bride, the church…and not just the church in general, but a church. We can only take communion well when we take it, in part, as a commitment to a local church. And that commitment is one of sacrifice and love.
Many are familiar with 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, where Paul lays out how Jesus’ instructions for the Lord’s Supper. In fact, you may have heard it so many times you could quote it by heart. But how many know the context of those important verses? It’s in the context where we see how beautifully God has constructed this sacrament.
In the “words of institution” in v23-26, Paul tells us about a vision he received from Jesus (which makes sense given that the gospels may not have been in written form yet, so these new churches would need direct instruction from their Lord on this important part of their life together). Paul instructs the Corinthians to practice the Lord’s Supper simply and as close to the pattern of Jesus as possible. Bread first, then wine. Let the pastor remind the people of Jesus’ words. Eat, then drink. It’s wonderfully simple.