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Lebanon, Missouri
I am Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (LC-MS) in Lebanon, MO for 12 years. I'm married to Cheryl and have been blessed with 5 children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rightly Administering the Lord's Supper: Who?

(The following is the first of a four part series on closed Communion. These are written as bulletin inserts)

Dear believers in Christ, since the Lord’s Supper is the New Testament in Christ’s body and blood it is important that we confess what Jesus and the Apostles have taught us about this Sacrament. It is also vital that the congregation, working through the pastor, administers the sacrament rightly in the name of the Lord.

In this light, I am writing a few short notes on closed Communion under the heading of who, why, what, and how. Today’s question is, “who should be invited to partake of the Sacrament?” Consider the various answers that people will give:

1. any person whether or not he/she is a Christian

2. family members

3. former members of a congregation irrespective of their current denomination or confession of faith

4. any repentant Christian who also believes in the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and the wine

5. members of those church bodies that hold a true confession of the Gospel and all its articles

Please take time to reflect on this question during the week and consider the biblical basis for your answer. Why do you believe what you believe about closed Communion? I will ask a similar question next Sunday asking, “Why do we invite some people but not others to commune.”

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LC-MS) and her congregations have altar and pulpit fellowship with only one church body in the USA, one in Canada, and several others around the world. This having been said, the LC-MS does not have as its goal to keep people away from the Lord’s Table. On the contrary, the LC-MS would join in pulpit and altar fellowship with as many denominations as is possible on a biblical basis. What is that proper basis? We shall see next Sunday.

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