How Frequently Should We Take Communion?

Some churches don’t take the Supper weekly because they don’t see a good reason to do it. This raises the question, “Why did Jesus institute the Supper for us?” If we answer this question, then perhaps we would have a reason to either consider the reason we take Communion weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

John Calvin gives three reasons that are helpful to the discussion and worth consideration. They are:  the comfort of our conscience, to move us to praise God, and move us to holiness. Each of these on their own merit is reason enough, when taken as a collective whole, we must strive to change our perspective on the Supper. 

The first one is made clear to us when we consider what the sign and seal of the Lord’s Supper signifies. Communing with the risen Lord is an assurance. The Gospel tells us that the body of Christ that was given for us, and the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of our sin. In a similar vein, Jesus tells us that he is the food that gives us eternal life.

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

John 6:48 I am the bread of life.

Jesus was the one, on whom, the Father set his seal.

John 6:27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

He tells us that when we commune with him, it is through that Spirit wrought union with him that we have by faith.

John 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

John 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

Of course this is a great encouragement to the wandering conscience. This is a visible Gospel for our conscience, through which, God gives us certainty and assurance. The table of the Lord is where the spiritual nourishment for our soul is found. There we are reminded of our vital union with Christ in visible form. How could it not be a comfort to our salvation in Jesus.

Secondly, we are moved to praise God in the Supper by seeing the goodness of God towards us. That he would give the Son to redeem us

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In the Supper the love of the Father is on display

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

In the Supper the love of Jesus for his people is on display. That he would love his people to the end, that is till death.

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

In the Supper we see the power of the Holy Spirit that would raise Jesus again from the dead

Rom. 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

It is a triune work demonstrated for us in the Supper. A work of love that is indescribable. How could this not move us to worship our triune God?!

Thirdly, we are moved to respond with a life of renewed obedience. To live a life of holiness that is perfect and pleasing to God. As we are members of Christ’s body, in union with him by the Holy Spirit through faith we endeavor to live out the reality of who we are in Jesus.

Rom. 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

These are all worthy considerations in the discussion of weekly Communion. It is such a blessing to the people of God, how could we ever want to withhold it from them?