One thing that strikes people as they worship at Cornerstone is our communion service. Many guests ask why we observe communion every Sunday. We kindly reply that we desire to follow the pattern of the early church.
In the New Testament, communion is presented as a means of remembering Jesus' sacrificial death, fellowshipping with Christ, and fellowshipping with the church. (1 Cor 10-11; Luke 22:7-38; Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26) Likewise, Jesus describes communion as a sort of spiritual food which nourishes our souls. (John 6:35-58)
After the first sermon was delivered on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), those who believed the message were baptized. After their baptism they were devoted to four things: the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. The four activities listed are not necessarily separate activities, but instead describe a typical Christian meeting. Notice that “breaking of bread” was mentioned. A majority of biblical scholars believe that phrase is talking about the Lord’s Supper.
In the New Testament, communion is a common part of Christian worship. In fact, it appears that in the early church communion was served at Christian meetings daily (Acts 2:46) and weekly (Acts 20:7). So why do we choose to take communion weekly?
In the book of Acts, chapter 20, that Paul was on his way to Jerusalem and stopped at Troas. There, “on the first day of the week,” he met with the local church who had gathered “to break bread” (celebrate the Lord’s Supper). That was not the only reason they met, but it was one prominent reason. Notice also that Luke describes the weekly observance of breaking bread casually without explanation or defense, suggesting this practice was common among those Luke expected to read his account. The early Christians met weekly to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
We also find an interesting account about the early church meeting together in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:20, “when you come together, ”a phrase that is held by many scholars to mean the church service. The Lord’s Supper is the very first thing the apostle discusses. Their practice to celebrate communion each time they gathered did not seem odd to Paul.
Communion also allows us to pause from our busy, often self-centered lives, and focus upon the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Jesus said “This is my body, which is for you: do this in remembrance of me.” and “This cup is the new Covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” Most Christians would not think of attending church services without bringing a monetary offering. We believe it is just as important to personally remember Jesus’ death and sacrifice.