Jesus welcomes you to His supper.. …and so do we!
The practice at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church is to welcome Christians to receive Holy Communion after they have been baptized, and have been prepared to understand the true nature of the sacrament. The practice at St. Michael’s is to prepare young people to receive the sacrament after they have been “confirmed” , usually around the age of 13 or 14. The issue of age is a local tradition, and isn’t an official doctrine. We invite those who are not baptized, or who have not been prepared in their home congregations, to come forward with everyone else and receive a blessing. If you have any questions please call Pastor Dan Vojta at 262-510-3915 or talk to him before worship.
+ + +
Preparing to Receive Holy Communion
We take the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper very seriously, because Jesus takes the sacrament very seriously
Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. As it is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.) I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh. Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever. John 6:41-58
When you join this, or any other gathering of believers for worship, we can only assume that God is at work drawing you to know and trust Jesus more deeply. We want you to experience the full benefit of the sacrament, and avoid God’s judgement, as the Apostle Paul warned:
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. I Corinthians 11:27-30
Therefore we encourage you to prepare yourself to receive the sacrament by examining your heart, repenting of your sins, and recognizing Jesus’ real presence, for you, in the bread and wine.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God Psalm 51:17
When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16
Since we can’t judge your heart, we encourage you to receive the sacrament in a worthy manner by considering the following questions:
Christian Questions and Answers
Drawn up by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament of the Altar.
After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:
- Do you believe that you are a sinner? Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.
- How do you know this? From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.
- Are you sorry for your sins? Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
- What have you deserved from God because of your sins? His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Rom. 6:21-23.
- Do you hope to be saved? Yes, that is my hope.
- In whom then do you trust? In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.
- Who is Christ? The Son of God, true God and man.
- How many Gods are there? Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him? He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
- Did the Father also die for you? He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed His blood for me.
- How do you know this? From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
- What are the words of institution? Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
- Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament? Yes, I believe it.
- What convinces you to believe this? The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.
- What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge? We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
- Why should we remember and proclaim His death? First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ alone, and through faith in Him be saved.
- What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins? His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14; Romans 5; Galatians 2; and Ephesians 5.
- Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament? That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.
- What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently? First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.
- But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament? To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15–16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16; 1 Peter 5; Ephesians 6; and 2 Timothy 2.