Note from the Editor: Ken Loyer’s forthcoming book, “Holy Communion: Celebrating God with Us” will be available beginning in December 2014 from Abingdon Press. Readers may explore more details here.
What is Holy Communion, and why does it matter?
Those questions have given rise to a book that I have written, “Holy Communion: Celebrating God with Us,” the second in the Belief Matters series edited by Bishop William H. Willimon. Today I begin a series of posts about the book and about the pressing need to recover a robust understanding and practice of Holy Communion for the renewal of the church in faith, mission, and sacramental life.
Celebrating the presence of God through Holy Communion nourishes our souls and refreshes our sense of community. For small groups and Sunday School classes, and as a resource for preaching, “Holy Communion: Celebrating God with Us” is suitable for a four-week study and offers questions for reflection at the end of each chapter.
The more Christians link Communion with spiritual formation and daily faith practice, the more likely the church will be invigorated and empowered to carry out its missional mandate to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Through the service of Communion, the church remembers and celebrates the presence of God with us. Yet many Christians do not understand Communion or see it only as an empty ritual, devoid of meaning or personal significance. As a result, many congregations experience a drop in worship attendance or enthusiasm on Communion Sundays. Then churches wonder why they are so spiritually depleted. This book offers a richer appreciation of Communion and provides insights and practical suggestions for giving this sacrament a more prominent role, not just in church life, but in the Christian formation of individuals.