Our Bishop for the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, has now allowed pastors to offer online communion. Pastor Kim did so on the first Sunday of June. If you missed this service, you can do communion at home while listening to the service and having bread and juice as described below.
Bread: have some bread to share with whomever you are doing worship with. Crackers and regular sandwich bread work. The bread at the Last Supper, being a Passover meal, was probably unleavened bread like matzah.
Juice: Don’t stress over the juice. If you want it to symbolize Christ’s blood use a red juice you will enjoy drinking the rest of the week. Otherwise water or another beverage is fine. First century people drank wine at most meals because the alcohol was a natural antiseptic. Water was often contaminated and made people sick. United Methodists moved to using grape juice, not wine, a long time ago so that those who have given up alcohol for whatever reason would be welcome.
The real point: Jesus asked us to gather and share bread and cup to remember him. We remember all he has done for us in his life, death and resurrection. We remember he is the Bread of Life and pours his life into us. Empowered by celebrating that Jesus ‘s life now lives in us and forms us into a community of believers, we go forward to live our faith as part of his body—the church. Though we cannot physically gather, we can gather online. COVID 19 does not cancel us being the church. Surely Christ is powerful enough to honor us with his presence as we sincerely seek to worship in this new way in a difficult time.
Copyrights: For the threshold moment Hymn # 3086, Day of Arising, the words are © 1996 Susan Palo Cherwien, administered by Augsburg Fortress. Used with NFUMC’s One License A-609294. For Fill My Cup Lord the words are by Richard Blanchard, 1959 Music by Richard Blanchard, 1959; arr by Eugene Clark 1979. Used with NFUMC’s CCLI licenses #20424928 and 20424911.