Reflections on how Christians help each other to grow and mature in loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Lord's Supper is a powerful means of grace ...

Most United Methodists agree that the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion, the Eucharist) is an important ritual of the church. Many also agree that it is a powerful means of grace. John and Charles Wesley certainly believed the Sacrament to be one of the most important and powerful means for Christians to connect with the healing and redeeming power of God's grace. This is why both brothers communed frequently throughout their lives. It is why Charles wrote a collection of hymns on the Lord's Supper, about 160 hymns, that is one of the best volumes on Eucharistic theology ever written. John encouraged the Methodists to participate in the Sacrament as often as possible, at least once a week. The worship book he developed for the new Methodist Episcopal Church in America contained an order of worship for Sunday morning that included weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper.

The recent document approved by the 2008 General Conference, This Holy Mystery, encourages United Methodist congregations today to re-tradition the practice of weekly celebration of the Sacrament.

My friend Andrew Thompson has done some very good thinking and writing on this topic in a recent column for the United Methodist Portal. It is well worth reading and discussing in your church: Recommit to Communion as Means of Healing Grace