SUBJECT: MBC Good Friday Service Info. & Guidance for Communion Participation
Midlothian Bible Church Family,
In this challenging and unique time our world is facing, the calling of the church has not changed. We are still called to glorify God, proclaim the Gospel, and make disciples of Jesus Christ. As a church, we state our mission this way:
Midlothian Bible Church seeks to glorify God and make disciples by bringing people together through the Gospel and building up mature followers of Christ.
As we approach this Easter weekend, there are several opportunities to continue working toward this mission.
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE PLANS & ENCOURAGEMENT
First, you can join us virtually on Good Friday. We will post a brief, reflective service on our YouTube channel at 4pm on April 10th. Since it will be pre-recorded, you will be able watch at the time of your convenience thereafter. I want to encourage you as a family or individually to join in this service. Follow along as I lead you through communion. If you are at home by yourself, I would encourage you after the service to use a video chat service to share in communion with a friend or family member. Another option is to contact the church office at email@example.com in order to arrange for a church leader to lead you through communion sometime over the Easter weekend.
PURPOSE OF COMMUNION
On Friday, I will be sharing a message from Luke 22:14-20. This is when Jesus instituted the ordinance of Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper, during the celebration of Passover on the eve of His Crucifixion. Christ brought the ultimate significance to this Passover meal by associating the sacrificing of His blood and body for the atonement of mankind with the symbolic use of the bread and wine. The eating of the bread reminds believers of Christ’s bodily substitution for us and the benefits we gain from this substitutionary death (Matt. 26:26; Lk. 22:19; Jn. 6:53-57; 1 Cor. 11:24; 1 Pt. 2:24). The wine of the cup reminds believers of the all-sufficient, perfect blood sacrifice Christ provided on our behalf which provides redemption and forgiveness from sins once and for all (Matt. 26:27-28; Lk. 22:20; Jn. 6:53-57; 1 Cor. 11:25; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 10:1-22).
But the Lord’s Supper is more than just a reminder of what Christ has accomplished in His death. It is encouragement to believers that Christ now abides in us (Jn. 6:53-57). It is an opportunity to proclaim Christ’s saving work (1 Cor. 11:26). It is a chance to celebrate the unity believers have together in Christ as He resides in each believer (1 Cor. 10:27; Matt. 18:20). In light of this unity, the fellowship of the communion meal is not to be taken lightly. Believers should examine their lives and make sure they are in right relationship with fellow believers (1 Cor. 11:27-29). As a united family of believers, we can also look forward to the reunion and future meal with the Savior who made salvation possible (Matt. 26:29; 1 Cor. 11:26; Rev. 19:1-10).
PREPARATION & SIMPLE GUIDE FOR COMMUNION AT HOME
Preparation for the Good Friday Service & Communion
- Have the Communion elements ready: unleavened bread (for Christ’s body) and juice (for Christ’s blood). If you are unable to get these elements, use something close to it. What is most important is your heart’s response to Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for you.
- Take time to examine your heart. (1 Cor. 11:27-29) See the article “What does it mean to examine yourself (1 Corinthians 11:28)?” by clicking here (https://www.gotquestions.org/examine-yourself.html )
- Remember that this is a spiritual heart “checkup.” It is not meant to imply that perfection is necessary to take communion. Instead we should ask, “Do I understand what the Lord Supper means and am I taking it for the right reasons? Am I seeking to follow Christ or are there areas of my life I am not letting Him lead?” Confess what comes to mind when asking those questions and ask Him to empower you to repent and pursue Him.
- If there is unresolved conflict in your life, ask the Lord if reconciliation is possible and how He would have you seek it (Matthew 5:23). See the Four G’s of Peacemaking https://rw360.org/the-four-gs/ or the Peace Making Pamphlet https://rw360.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Peacemaking-Principles-Pamphlet.pdf
- Reflect on all Jesus did and went through to pay the penalty for your sin. Reading through Matthew 26 -27 will help you reflect.
- Participate in the Good Friday service. Sing along and take communion when instructed.
Guidance for taking Communion via video chat with a friend, family, or small group
- Read through one of the following passages: Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:23-26; Luke 22:7-23.
- Then read though one of the following passages: Matthew 27:15-61; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 23:1-56; John 19:1-42
- Ask one person to pray for the bread and lead in this first part of communion. Here’s an example:
Person holds the bread up as a symbol of Jesus’ body and says, “Jesus asked us to eat this bread to remember that He gave His body for us. Let’s pray.
‘God, thank You for sending Jesus who not only lived for us, but died for us. The Son of God, who came in the body of a man, gave Himself up so we could live! Thank You that His body was raised back to life. Thank You that because of the grace of Jesus we have real life, and we can live forever in You. Amen.’
Okay, go ahead and eat the bread.”
excerpt from – https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/coronavirus/the-power-of-receiving-communion-at-home-during-quarantine.html
- Next, have someone pray for the cup and lead in this second part of communion. Here’s an example:
Person holds the cup as a symbol of Jesus’ blood and says, “Jesus asked us to drink this cup to remember that our sins are washed away by the powerful new covenant Jesus made possible between us and God. Let’s pray.
‘God, what an incredible picture this is of Your love for us. You allowed Your only Son to literally be poured out so that we could be in a fully restored relationship with You. Thank You, Jesus, for giving your blood. Amen.’
Go ahead and drink the cup.”
- Encourage group members to offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Helpful articles for questions about communion:
- What is the importance of the Lord’s supper/Christian Communion? https://www.gotquestions.org/communion-Christian.html INCLUDES ANIMATED VIDEO FOR CHILDREN TO WATCH.
- What is the meaning and importance of the Last Supper? https://www.gotquestions.org/Last-Supper.html
- When should children be baptized and/or allowed to take the Lord’s Supper? https://www.gotquestions.org/children-baptism-communion.html
- What did Jesus mean when He said, “This is my body, broken for you”? https://www.gotquestions.org/this-is-my-body-broken-for-you.html
- Is it acceptable to have communion outside of the church? https://www.gotquestions.org/communion-outside-church.html
I pray that the above information will be a help in strengthening your faith and equipping you to help others pursue Jesus Christ. May we all continue to encourage each other in our walk with Jesus and sharing of the Gospel with others.
By His grace,
Pastor, Midlothian Bible Church