First Presbyterian Church celebrates the sacrament of communion or Eucharist every Sunday at our contemporary service and the first Sunday of the month at our traditional services. Any disciple of Jesus Christ is welcome to receive the sacrament as are baptized children with their parent’s permission.
The sacrament of communion is rich in meaning. The sacrament recalls our Lord sitting at Table with His disciples the evening before His crucifixion, taking a piece of bread, breaking it and saying, “This is my body broken for you.” Jesus then pours out the wine, saying, “This is my blood shed for the remission of your sins.”
The word “communion” itself calls us to commune with God and to create community, to remember that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. The meal remembers how Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners, how His welcome is inclusive and gracious. During the feeding of the 5000, Jesus tells the crowds, “I am the Bread of Life.” So communion is a time of spiritual feeding, a time to be nourished and strengthened by Jesus to do His work.
And the word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving. We are thankful for Jesus bearing our sins in his own body.
So the sacrament of communion was inaugurated by our Lord as a means of strengthening His people. It calls us to break down barriers, to build bridges and to be peacemakers. It calls us to be inclusive, reaching out to the least of our brothers and sisters. It calls us to live in union with Christ, knowing that our life and strength depend on Him.