By Michael C. Mack
If you were to look up the word communion in a dictionary, you’d see it defined as “intimate fellowship or rapport.” It comes from the same word as community or communication or communal. Under normal circumstances, this is a communal experience.
So, how do we accomplish this aspect of Communion in a time of social distancing?
First, we should remember that social distancing does not mean social isolation. For now, we are wise not to get together in large gatherings, but we can still find ways to love one another, carry each other’s burdens, encourage one another, pray for one another, and, well, commune with one another. We just do that differently under these peculiar circumstances.
Second, we can be grateful for many things, and one of those things is that we live in a high-tech world in which we can be virtually present with one another via the Internet and livestreaming. It’s not the same—that’s true—but we choose to be positive and grateful for what we have.
Perhaps meeting in our building is canceled for now. But church is not canceled! Loving one another is not canceled. Devoting ourselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer are not canceled!
The Lord’s Supper was instituted on a Thursday evening during a meal. We encourage you, as you gather this week with your loved ones around your table in your homes, to celebrate that meal together, remembering as you break bread that Jesus gave up his body on the cross to take away our sins and give us eternal life.
And now, wherever we are—in living rooms and kitchens and offices—we celebrate this time together as the church. Take some bread and eat, and remember Christ Jesus, who sacrificed his body for us. And take the juice and drink, remembering the blood Jesus shed for us.
Millions of people from around the world join us this day as we remember Jesus. Whether we are in close proximity or socially distant from one another, this meal brings us together as we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Michael C. Mack serves as editor of Christian Standard.