Excerpted from Fellowship in the Lord’s Supper available on the LCMS website.
“Fellowship in the Lord’s Supper is the basis for the practice of who should come to communion. On the basis of God’s Holy Word, our Lutheran church continues to practice the ancient, Biblical and confessional practice of close communion as an opportunity to give joyful witness to our unity in the true faith. We practice close communion with the belief that this is what the Lord would have us do as we faith- fully administer His body and blood in His holy Sacrament.”
“Close communion is not a practice unique to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is also practiced by the majority of Christians in the world who are members of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions.”
In all four Gospel accounts of the Last Supper and Paul’s discussion of this event to the church in Corinth we are told exactly what this gift of grace is. Todays lesson from Acts in chapter 2 Luke also gives us a perspective of the importance of this meal as defining who we are. Each of these accounts clearly articulates the ontological nature of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine.
“While the Lord’s Supper is always a personal matter, it is never a private matter. Those who commune at the same altar are thereby declaring publically that they are united in the doctrine of the Apostles (Acts 2:42) as confessed at that Altar. Therefore, fellowship in the Supper is church fellowship. This is what is taught by Holy Scripture in 1 Cor. 10 and 11.”
Our act of reception is our confession of unity with the local congregation in doctrine and practice. It would be shameful hypocrisy on our part if we would have those who actually profess a different faith than we do join us at the Lord’s Altar.
For these reasons we ask each person to examine himself before coming to the Table using the biblical questions and answers provided as the lens for their examination. If you have questions, concerns, or doubts please see Pastor Donovan after service or contact him to discuss further.