“So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” — Luke 22:8
Altar Guild Duty for All
During this Passover meal, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. This meal is bread and wine that we eat and drink as Jesus commanded promising his presence and the forgiveness of sins. Normally, when we come for Holy Communion, the meal has already been prepared by others, as Peter and John were sent by Jesus to prepare the Passover meal for him and the disciples. But these are not normal times.
On Easter we invited those who joined worship online to share in the Holy Communion. Since no one was sent to our homes to prepare the meal, we had to do it ourselves and we had little time to get ready. First Lutheran Church will include the Lord’s Supper in Sunday online worship on May 3 and then again on May 31st Pentecost. This is your notice that, if you wish to take Communion that day, you are on “Altar Guild duty.”
The Significance of Bread and Wine
Jesus used bread and wine for this meal. They were a part of the Passover meal and had rich meaning. Bread is reminiscent of the life-sustaining manna the Israelites were given to eat in the wilderness. Bread was a staple food. Wine was a common drink. In Old Testament times the vineyard was a symbol of the Kingdom of God and wine a sign of blessing. Jesus transforms bread and wine into signs of the New Covenant in this meal. His first self-revealing sign was to change water into wine. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” And Jesus said, “I am the vine.”
We invite you to prepare for Holy Communion
on May 3 and May 31. It will be good to have your bread and wine ready in time for the start of worship. The kind of bread is not so important although the “grains of wheat gathered into one” do have significance. Make the bread recipe shared on Maundy Thursday (available at https://bit.ly/FLCbread) or bake/buy a nice loaf of white or whole wheat. Pita bread is great. It can even be a bun or Wheat Thin, if that is what you have. The wine can be red or white wine. Grape juice is also of the vine. If wine or juice is not available, then water is the preferred alternative.
Kits Available at Church
A limited number of kits of wafers and juice are available. You can pick them up during office hours inside the handicapped entrance at the covered entry. A communion kit can also be delivered to you home upon request.
Fasting from Communion
It is perfectly acceptable to choose not to participate in communion but to wait until we gather again in the sanctuary. Such a fasting can even strengthen the heart’s desire for the grace of God. During the time of communion, there will be a prayer prompt, so that you can use that time as a time for prayerful communion with God.
Christ is present in the meal
The familiar Words of Institution that we hear in person or over the internet proclaim that the bread and wine we eat and drink are the Lord’s Supper. Martin Luther writes in the Small Catechism that the Sacrament of the Altar (another name for Holy Communion) “is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself for us Christians to eat and drink.” Although at a distance, we share in the meal together and are joined with the whole Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, giving thanks to our God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.