800 WRIGHT AVE   POB 2066   GREENWOOD, SC 29646-0066   TELEPHONE: (864) 227 - 2963

Holy Communion


Holy Communion (con't.)

Toward a Richer Sacramental Life

What do divine love and power do in and for us through our participation in the sacrament of Holy Communion?  The answers to this question involve forgiveness, nourishment, healing, transformation, ministry and mission, and eternal life.

We respond to the invitation to the Table by immediately confessing our personal and corporate sin, trusting that, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  Our expression of repentance is answered by the absolution in which forgiveness is proclaimed: “In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!”

We receive spiritual nourishment through Holy Communion.  The Christian life is a journey, one that is challenging and arduous.  To continue living faithfully and growing in holiness requires constant sustenance.  God makes such sustenance available through the sacrament of Eucharist.  In John 6:35, Jesus tells the crowd: “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”  As we return to the Table again and again, we are strengthened repeatedly, empowered to go out to live as disciples, reconcilers, and witnesses.

Participating in Holy Communion is a transforming experience.  As we encounter Christ and are repeatedly touched by divine grace, we are progressively shaped into Christ’s image.  All of this work is not done in a moment.  It is, instead, a lifelong process through which God intends to shape us into people motivated by love, empowered and impassioned to do Christ’s work in the world.

Through Eucharist, we receive healing and are enabled to aid in the healing of others.  Sozo, the root of the Greek word used in the New Testament for healing, is also translated as salvation and wholeness.  Much of this healing is spiritual, but it also includes the healing of our thoughts and emotions, of our minds and bodies, of our attitudes and relationships.  The grace received at the Table can make us whole.

The grace we receive at the Table also enables us to perform our ministry and mission, to continue his work in the world – the work of redemption, reconciliation, peace, and justice (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  As we commune, we become aware of the worth and needs of other people and are reminded of our responsibility.  We express the compassion of Christ through acts of caring and kindness toward those we encounter in our daily lives.  But, in the words of the prayer of confession, we acknowledge our failures: “We have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy” (UMH; page 8).  Remembering the revolutionary Jesus, we are impelled to challenge unjust practices and systems that perpetuate political, economic, and social inequity and discrimination.

The loving God who meets us at the Table gives us the gift of eternal life.  Jesus’ presentation of himself as the spiritual bread of life in John’s Eucharistic account (6:25-58) makes clear the connection.  This life in union with Christ is life eternal.  It is not only the promise of our being with Christ after physical death.  It is also our being in dynamic loving relationship with Christ here and now.  It is life that never ends because it is grounded in the everlasting love of God who comes to us in the sacraments.

Go to the next page in the Holy Communion series

Go to the beginning of the Holy Communion series ...

Go back one page in the Holy Communion series ...

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |

Go to the next page in the Holy Communion series

Mathews United Methodist Church Indentification Strip


If you find inaccuracies or incomplete information, don't find what you were looking for, or would simply like to say hello; e-mail any comments, corrections or updates to our WebSteward.  Your help is sincerely appreciated in making this web site a valuable tool for the members of the congregation, our visitors, and always a testimony to our Lord and Savior - Jesus Christ. The content of these pages is the sole responsibility of Mathews United Methodist Church. Thank you!



Go to the top of this page ... Image size is 46 x 22. Bottom graphic.  Red right-angle triangle on a white background. Image size is 25 x 25.
© Copyright 2004-2008.  Mathews United Methodist Church. 
  All Rights Reserved.


Optimized for Internet Explorer 5+ at 800x600 Resolution with 24-bit color and java-enabled

Last revised on 25 October 2008