What is Holy Communion

What is the importance and relavence of Holy Communion today?What does it symbolise?

Overview

¨What is Holy Communion (the Eucharist)

¨Holy Communion – History

¨Holy Communion – Today

What does Holy Communion Celebrate?

¨The Eucharist serves as a reminder that God nourishes us and loves us unconditionally.

¨It also signifies the love poured out to us giving us new life.

¨The Eucharist got its origin from a sacred Jewish meal called “Passover Seder

Passover Sedar Meal

The first communion - Melchizedek?

Genesis 14:17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 19 He blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 Worthy of praise is the Most High God, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. 

Who is Melchizedek?

¨Hebrews 7:1 Now this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him. 2 To him also Abraham apportioned a tithe of everything. His name first means king of righteousness, then king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time. 4 But see how great he must be, if Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of his plunder.

Who is Melchizedek?

5 And those of the sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen, although they too are descendants of Abraham. 6 But Melchizedek who does not share their ancestry collected a tithe from Abraham and blessed the one who possessed the promise. 7 Now without dispute the inferior is blessed by the superior, 8 and in one case tithes are received by mortal men, while in the other by him who is affirmed to be alive. 9 And it could be said that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid a tithe through Abraham. 10 For he was still in his ancestor Abraham’s loins when Melchizedek met him (Hebrews 7:5-10).

 

¨Hebrews  6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

The Passover Meal

¨Early Christians viewed the Last Supper from the viewpoint of the Passover meal

¨The apostles would have seen a short-legged table surrounded by cushions where they would sit

¨On the table was a bowl of saltwater and  dish of bitter herbs

¨A container of mashed apples, raisins and plums coated with cinnamon looked like the bricks they made

The Passover Meal

¨Platters of unleavened bread stood next to the large Cup of Blessing filled with wine

¨A roasted lamb symbolized the sacrificial quality of the meal and recalled the blood of a lamb on their doorposts that saved them

¨Psalms and prayers were recited to recall the ancient event when God saved the people of Israel from Egypt

The Last Supper

¨¨Jesus opened the meal with a psalm that praised God for his mighty deeds of salvation in the Exodus.

¨Then he took the bread, gave thanks for it and, breaking tradition, followed this with new words: “Take and eat. This is my body that will be given up for you.”

¨This bread was now his body. It would be given up, that is offered on the cross.

The Last Supper

¨At the end of the meal, Jesus took the Cup of Blessing filled with wine and again broke tradition and said, “Take and drink…This is my blood. . . It will be shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.”

¨Once more Christ referred to his forth- coming passion where he would shed his blood

¨As they drank of the one cup and ate of the one bread, they experienced their unity in Christ

The Last Supper

¨Finally, Christ gave them and their successors the power to celebrate Holy Communion (Eucharist): “Do this in memory of me.”

¨They all sang a psalm and Jesus went forth to his saving death and resurrection

¨In this event Jesus gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist

The Early Church – Agape Feast

¨In the beginning of the history of the church the Eucharist was celebrated as a fellowship meal or “love feast” known as agape

¨The Christians shared the food that each of them brought it was eventually broken down to just the bread and wine

¨The feast came to be the same in all different communities it consisted of an offering , a thanksgiving, breaking of the bread, and people receiving the bread and wine.

The Early Church

¨The early Church followed command of Jesus and “broke bread” in His Memory

¨Over time, the apostles and their successors developed the Eucharistic celebration into the structure that endures to this day

¨First named it the “Breaking of the Bread”. Soon the need to separate the rite from a meal, both because of abuses at meals (1 Cor 11:17-22) and because they wanted a more prayerful setting for this act of worship

Partaking the Communion

1 Cor 1:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Partaking the communion

1 Corinthians 1:27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Partaking unworthily?

¨What does it partaking unworthily mean?

¨The “unworthiness” came from using communion as an opportunity to appease hunger or get drunk!

¨These risks do not exist today but in today’s age, what are the similar risks of partaking unworthily?

  • Casually as a ritual without internalizing the significance
  • Because everyone is doing it
  • Any other motive other than that intended.

“Remember Me”

The reason we take communion is to:

  • ¨Remember Christ’s saving power over sin in our lives
  • ¨Proclaim His work of salvation through the cross
  • ¨Celebrate the benefits of the New Covenant, which include  peace, healing, deliverance, abundant life, and the power to overcome sin in our lives through Christ.[1]
  • ¨Remind ourselves of our unity with Him and the church

Memory verse

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding[a] the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 corinthians 3:18

Transformed lives

Divide into groups and Enact scenarios (one for each group) on how can you live transformed lives in:

¨Your home

¨Your school

¨Among friends and neighbours

¨In your private life

Transformation

Allowing Christ to transform our lives is a choice available to all. Time is running out!

Have you made the choice to accept Christ’s free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life?

References

1.www.greatbiblestudy.com

2.The sacrament of the Eucharist by By:Steve Flores, Dave Cea, Kyle   Merrill, Salvador Meza, & Michael Han

3.Sacraments: The Eucharist by Steve Surprenant, MBA, STB/MA, Senior Vice President & COO, Mercy Community Health, CT

4.NICC notes

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