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Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Want You To Grow Spiritually 8: Take Communion Weekly

Start taking communion weekly if you don't already.

Obviously there are many different theologies regarding the Eucharist or taking communion: Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, Real Presence, Sacramental Union, Memorial, others?. Regardless, for most Christians who take communion it is a refocusing event. It is like calling a "time out" from life. It draws attention away from ourselves, from this world and it's cares and points to something greater -- Jesus.

Communion is life giving. It is hope inspiring. It reminds us that there is any empty tomb. The grave does not have the final say in this life. The problems we face will not consume us and own us. We have been purchased at a costly price.

Communion is majestic display of God's power, righteousness and goodness. It reminds us of God's graciousness to us before we even set foot on this planet, sending His Son for us and calling us to be His children through no merit or work of our own.

Communion reminds us of the price that has been paid for our souls and the generous forgiveness that has been lavished upon us. It reminds us to forgive others just as generously. It helps us to be set free from holding a grudge.

The Eucharist calls our attention to being one in Christ. Though we are many people partaking of the one bread and one cup reminds us our unity in the body of Christ.

Communion makes crystal clear our utter dependence on God to feed our souls and body. We do not provide for ourselves but when we come to the table, to the Lord's Supper, we celebrate the risen Christ -- His all sufficient provision for our every need.

So how will taking communion weekly help you to grow spiritually?

Often what we need for growth is not some magic bullet that cures our ills but a reframing -- a renewed understanding -- of our place in this world and the role of Jesus as King of the universe. Communion can do that.

For some who do not take a memorialist position (and maybe some who do), communion is a way to mystically connect with Christ. Many of my Anglican friends find that weekly connection with Christ in the Eucharist to be personally empowering them to "delight in His will and walk in His way to the glory of His name."

Finding a place to take communion weekly can be tricky, especially if you are an evangelical and your current church does not practice it. Many times you will find an Anglican or Lutheran church with a weekly Eucharist during the week or very early on Sunday morning.

If you come from a Christian tradition that does communion monthly or less often, experiencing it weekly might be catalytic to your spiritual growth.

Weekly communion. Try it.

For your enjoyment here is an Anglican Eucharist from the famed Truro Church in Virginia:

This is part 7 in a 20 part series on spiritual growth. If you feel like you are not growing deeper in your faith or relationship to God, if you are not loving and serving others more, if you have a sense of 'stuckness' in your spiritual journey, and you really want to grow ——— the answer might not be to try harder. All too often I have heard the same solutions offered over and over — 'All you have to do is have daily devotions, pray more, read more of the Bible, be in worship every week and get more involved in the church.' In other words try harder.

Sometimes that doesn't work and I'm going to offer some suggestions that might help you move forward.

Previous Installments:
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 2: See A Counselor
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 3: Spiritual Direction
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 4: Get A New Church
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 5: Go On Retreat
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 6: Fight A Spiritual Battle & Win
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 7: Take A Seminary or College Class

Comments on "I Want You To Grow Spiritually 8: Take Communion Weekly"


Blogger SJ Austin said ... (4:56 PM, November 06, 2008) : 

John Wesley's sermon "The Duty of Constant Communion" has some very interesting insights into this topic. I recommend it highly, if you haven't already read it.



Blogger theultrarev said ... (7:54 PM, November 06, 2008) : 

Thanks Scott. That Wesley guy was sharp.


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