Taking the Lord’s Supper is a central component of our spiritual lives and our worship services. Here are some reminders I give to people as they prepare to lead our church in preparing for communion (what many churches call “communion meditations”).
Keep it biblical.
A Lord’s Supper meditation is always about Jesus. It’s about his body and blood. It’s about his crucifixion. Because there aren’t tons of passages in the Bible about communion itself, during the communion time it is easy for a person to drift into speaking about all kinds of topics other than Jesus.
Although there are not very many passages about the Lord’s Supper itself, there are numerous places that speak on its central theme: the sacrifice of Jesus, forgiveness of sin, the grace of God, the cross of Christ. Communion brings us to the Table to remind us of and to celebrate him—please don’t leave him out.
“Communion brings us to the Table to remind us of and to celebrate him—please don’t leave him out.”
Keep it personal.
Books, blogs, and devotionals can be useful tools as you prepare for communion meditations. However, the most powerful meditations communicate what Jesus means to you in your daily walk. A communion meditation can be as simple as speaking about what your Savior has done for you.
Keep it real.
There is something that can be genuinely terrifying about speaking in front of a group of people. Add to that the gravity of this subject matter and the need for a certain amount of transparency, and it is easy to see why some feel overwhelmed and back away from giving communion meditations.
But I maintain there is real power in our weakness. God uses our failings and confessions to bring others to him. Some of the most powerful meditations I have seen are when guys open the window of their souls. Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t long after that they feel embarrassed and take themselves off the list. Don’t be afraid to be real.
Keep it prayerful.
Pray before you begin writing. Pray as you jot down your thoughts. Ask God to direct your meditation so it will point people to Christ.
May I suggest that, as you prepare your meditation, you also prepare your prayer. There is nothing wrong with written prayers. They spring from real prayers that are just recorded for later use. I think perhaps the only thing harder than giving a communion meditation is praying out loud when you’re done. I have been guilty of using prayers as merely transitions from one aspect of the service to the next. They are not.
“May I suggest that, as you prepare your meditation, you also prepare your prayer.”
You and I are talking to the Almighty. When you end your meditation in prayer to God, make it a thoughtful, genuine doorway into communion time that will not only connect with the heart of God, but grab the hearts of those who listen to you pray.
Think about the visitor.
Every week in our bulletin, we include a paragraph with instructions for communion, but it’s likely that it isn’t seen or read by a guest. If you’re preparing a communion meditation, I would encourage you to do be familiar with your church’s instructions and mention the ones in your communion meditation that will be helpful for visitors to know about.
Some guests have told me they were a little anxious when communion time came around. They didn’t know what to do. So, at the least, please say something like, “Please take the bread and juice as they are passed and return the cup to the tray,” or whatever fits your church’s method. I’m not saying that has to be every week, but if there’s a good chance there are new people in attendance, give that some thought.
Thank you for leading people to the cross. Thank you for helping us all get perspective, center our thoughts, and focus on Jesus. Thank you for putting yourself out there in order to help people connect with God through the bread and the cup—the body and blood of our Lord.