What do we mean by communion?
The word communion comes from Latin communio, which mean mutual participation, or common. The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship".
I'm all for mutual participation when believers gather, and sharing things in common. However I'm not sure quitely sitting in rows and passing plates with little cups and little crackers is the best fit for mutual participation or sharing much in common. I believe real fellowship includes deeper interaction and sharing of ones lives with each other.
What do we mean my Lords Supper?
Similar concern here. In Scripture we see the Lords supper was a full meal. It wasn't a quiet time with people sitting in rows passing the 'elements' as is the tradition today.
Bread was the staple food for that culture. Jesus claimed to be the bread of life. He is what sustains and gives life to His followers. But what if Jesus had come to an Asian culture? Would he have shared rice with his followers instead? What about potatoes or tortillas for other cultures? I think the symbolism with bread is great, I just want to push a little here to consider the heart of the matter.
Grape Juice or Wine?
Many have no issue substituting grape juice for the wine. Why not substitute the bread with pizza? :) We drink the wine (or red liquid) to remember the blood covenant Jesus makes with us for forgiveness of sin. I suspect God is OK with juice as long as we understanding the meaning of it all.
It seems clear that the early church met regularly to celebrate something they called a love feast or agape feast. It seems it was a full meal held on a regular basis. Those who had food would bring it, and everybody would eat. It seems the meal included breaking of bread as part of their celebration.
Administered by whom?
There is no New Testament evidence that would suggest only ordained clergy can serve the bread and wine/juice.
Have I missed anything? Do we think the communion or Lord's Supper traditions we have are better or more meaningful than those of the early church? Is there more room for reform?
- Love Feast
- The Lord's Supper
- The Lord's Supper Then and Now
- Pass the Potatoes for Communion
- I am the pizza of life
- Blood Covenant and Kingdom