You’ve noticed not everyone goes up to take Communion. How come? What prepares you to take Communion?
He who believes these words, “given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins,” is prepared. “But whoever does not believe these words or doubts them is not prepared, because the words, ‘for you’ require nothing but hearts that believe.”
Do we believe what Jesus is saying about Communion? Do we believe we are sinners? Communion is for sinners. Do we repent of our sins and want to change our life? If we think we don’t have any sin we need neither forgiveness nor a change in our life. Do we believe Jesus when he says “This is my body…this is my blood?” Do we believe we are somehow, some way, because of the power of Jesus’ words, receiving his true body and blood, the same body that hung on the cross, the same blood that he shed from the cross? If we don’t believe that, we are not prepared to take Communion.
We need to repent. If we don’t even know what Jesus is saying to us and how all of this can be true, we are not prepared to take Communion, and we need to learn more about it.
When we take Communion we are saying we are prepared. We know what we are receiving and, because everybody else taking Communion believes the same thing about what Jesus is saying, we all believe the same things together. How do I know I believe the same thing all these other people believe?
How do they know they believe the same thing I believe? That’s the point of making a public confession of our faith—usually through our church membership, saying “I believe Jesus’ words say this, just like you do.”
If we don’t know what a group or congregation of Christians believes, or if we have our doubts about what they believe, we shouldn’t pretend we’re on the same page. We shouldn’t take Communion until we know more about them and what they teach. We need to talk to the pastor to find out how we can learn more about them so that we can take Communion with them.
But if you do believe, this supper is for you. If you do hunger and thirst for forgiveness, this supper is for you. If you do long for the power to change your life, then this supper is for you. If you do understand what Jesus is saying, and if you have revealed what you believe by confessing your oneness in faith, no one can say that you are not prepared.
Come, this holy supper is for you.