Since March 22nd, LGC’s worship services are live-streamed online; we have leaders leading worship at church and our congregations gathered together online to worship every Sunday. We have not seen each other face to face for four weeks but we trust the Lord has been visiting you in your hearts, and we are also meeting one another through other means. I pray that your hearts are strengthened, your spirits are brightened by the Lord.
We are in a very unusual time in LGC’s history. We are facing an unprecedented pandemic. Unlike the Spanish Flu at the turn of the last century, we now have adequate medical knowledge to avoid catching the disease, which is by social distancing. (May I suggest we should call it physical social distancing?) Being responsible citizens on earth, we practiced good public health by taking drastic measures. First we started worship live-stream, and now, we will take our communion online, too.
At present, we cannot meet physically, but we want to unite our hearts in the Lord even without holding hands. Communion is not a sacrament of one person. Communion is a sacrament of the community of faith. When the Lord established communion with His disciples, He reminded them, saying, “This is my body, do this in remembrance of me.” Theologically, the crux of the sentence is “this is my body.” This one body is Christ and in Christ. The oneness of Christ is brought forth in the act of breaking the bread and distributing it among the disciples. After all, we all participate into the one body. Without physical presence, the sharing of bread can only be symbolic. But we strive to preserve our oneness here. Grammatically, it falls into a plural verb in imperative mood, which means, the disciples as a community should remember Jesus together. The sense of togetherness is essential in communion for it is intended to bring the community together. So communion is a church sacrament and it is not personal. Even when we bring communion to our shut-in members, it is not between the pastor and the members. Proper communion should take place with the physical presence of many and not one. Only in extreme circumstances, we would practice communion without the church. A church is a community of people who gather regularly to worship God and follow His commandments. We understand our worship live-stream and online communion cannot replace our normal worship and communion theologically and ecclesiologically. As we have mentioned earlier, extreme time calls for extreme measures; we will make do now but we long for the normal.
Do remember we are having communion as a congregation of a church. Without the instituted church, communion is no longer communion. Communion is an institution of the church and we, as a church celebrate together. We will encourage you to have the whole family to participate in communion if it is already the practice. For those who have not been baptized, he/she can participate by meditation and prayer. If you live by yourself, you are still part of the church. This is a church communion, though we are not together physically, let us be together in the spirit. This is unusual time and taking communion online is going to be temporary. In God’s time, we will come back together to raise our cup of salvation and “make a joyful noise to the Lord” again.
In order to prepare for taking communion together, which symbolizes our oneness, we encourage you to make bread and cup available before Sunday. You can use unleavened bread and wine, unleavened bread and grape juice, ordinary bread and juice, or cracker and juice. For unleavened bread, you can make your own, or you can buy matzah in store if you are able to make it. Let us try to use the same recipe. In case some of us are in particular hardship, use something handy and common as substitute. The elements should be essential food items for that is the intention of bread and wine. Yet, we would not recommend potato chip and soda.
Recipe for unleavened bread, please see link below. You can also fry it without oil on slow heat in a pan instead of baking.
Please prepare just enough for the occasion, for whatever is left, eat and drink them after worship as ordinary bread and drink and not in a playful manner will do.