I was asked the other day about our practice of serving the Sacrament of Communion only once a month. Here’s my reply, which may be of interest to others.
As I think I told you I grew up Episcopalian, and we “took,” which really means “partook of” communion every Sunday. I love and honor the church I was raised in, baptized in, confirmed in. It taught me the Catechism, reverence, and so much more. Fast Fwd to my Presbyterian days, before I was “in” the ministry, and many years of their style and form of worship, where communion is once a month. Fast Fwd to my Foursquare days, where hands were laid upon me and I was placed into pastoral ministry, received a great deal of on-the-job training, and again the custom was once monthly. Then to Dayspring, where the founding minister and congregation again celebrated the Sacrament once a month. All along this journey I am learning about the Lord and discovering so many new things about Him and about this Faith in Christ. All along I am confronted with a consistent dilemma- that people don’t agree, and they disagree on so much!!! As the Pastor I’m supposed to have the answers, which often don’t seem to be the right ones for a particular question, or, as it turns out too often, a certain preference.
Now we come to the Jim Muir days of my life. Jim Muir is a life-long Baptist minister who was dis-fellowshipped by them because of his “discovery” of the Holy Spirit and the transformation that did upon his heart. He served in the ministry for many many years, and then ended up at Dayspring, to get healed up and just rest. Amazing. But Jim is too gifted to let rest for very long, so he began teaching our Adult Class on Sunday mornings, and pouring his heart, experience, wisdom, and best of all his prayers upon us all and especially upon me. We visited often, and I gleaned much, but sometimes Jim wasn’t content with the gleaning process and wanted to SAY something to me. 🙂 He is passionate with a capital P, committed with a capital C, Zealous with a Z, and as you might suspect not very flexible. Because of some of his previous church pain, however, he didn’t lose humility or try to take control. He just told it like he saw it. A Blessing to us. All of that to prepare you for how Jim Muir thought we should be about the Sacrament. He thought we should have communion EVERY DAY, and he has no problem developing his feeling. He feels that as the Priest of the Home the husband should lead and serve the communion to his wife and family, EVERY DAY, along with much prayer, fasting, spiritual warfare, etc. This is good stuff, and I never argued against it. (Jim is about 77 or 78 now, and living in Portland. He just wrote his life’s book, The 25 Wonders of God, and I look forward to seeing him soon.) I hope to have Jim come back to Dayspring to speak to us and do a book signing!!!
After all of this, here is where I am on this and other subjects. I really do ask God to lead me, and to help me do this impossible task of being a pastor among His Flock. I have my preferences, but I try to honor those of others as well. If I’m not careful this can end up losing direction or focus, because I can be so trying to honor others wishes that I fail to do or say what the Lord has given me FOR them. Simply put, God has not spoken to me to have communion every day in my home, although I have no objection to those who do. If He did, I would. When ever I read the text about the time Jesus served His disciples I see clearly the exhortation to “remember Me,” and I take that to heart, and see that that is the core purpose in the Sacrament. Catholics and some Episcopalians, and some other transsubstantianists might disagree, but the point here is not to disagree but to be in unity about the ESSENTIAL, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that we are to put Him first, and we do this by remembering Him every time we gather, with communion, or without.
I don’t know if that explains it well enough or not, so again, I look forward to spending time with you guys and sharing our faith and journey IN CHRIST.