During this time of shutdown because of the COVID-19 virus, many congregations are not meeting. I think it's a wise thing to follow the recommendations of the government to avoid putting people at risk of being exposed to this virus, or getting the virus, becoming sick. And so because of that, churches are adapting, our own congregation, Choctaw congregation, is having livestream our services, but a complete service, and I'll give you a website address that you can check that out if you need to.
But one of the questions that's come up about that is that folks are at home, and they want to be able to take Communion at home, not sure exactly if that's okay, or not, or how they should do it. First of all, it's fine, the Lord said, "Do this in remembrance of me." He didn't say do it in the church building, or in a public place, so if we want to share the Communion, even we're gathered together electronically, if you wish, we want to remember Him on the Lord's day by taking the Communion at home, I believe that's fine. The spirit of it is good. Sometimes we're not sure exactly how to do it.
So what you need, of course, is unleavened bread, and grape juice, or fruit of the vine, if you wish. These are not necessarily things that are easy to find. People don't always know where to go. First of all, in most grocery stores, you get matzos actually, ask for matzo. If you ask for unleavened bread, they might not be sure of what you're talking about, but if you ask for matzos, which is unleavened bread, which is the brand, they will have those in stock. It even says here kosher for Passover, so Jewish people who celebrate the Passover, upon which the Communion is based, use this type of bread. You can make it at home, I guess there are plenty of recipes that you can find, but this is what the unleavened bread looks like. You notice we usually put a couple of these pieces in the plate and people take a piece of this at the Communion. So you can use some of this at home, this is fine.
Fruit of the Vine
The grape juice is sometimes a little more problematic. If you can find grape juice, the Welch's brand or other types, usually that's the type that churches use and put in individual cups or in wine cup as some churches do. If you can't, one lady wrote to me saying she couldn't find any of the grape juice at the grocery store, they were all out, she lives in a small town, and she didn't know what else that she could use. And I recommended that she get in touch with Christian bookstores online, you can order, and order these single cups here. Many individuals use these, they're a one serving. They not only have the grape juice in the little cup, but they also have a piece of unleavened bread in the cap.
So that's one way to do it. Sometimes individuals don't have access to the little cups, or they don't know where to order it, or there's no store close to them, no Christian bookstore. You can also just buy regular wine and water it down, just put water in it and dilute the alcohol pretty much out of it, and use that. It's still fruit of the vine, it's still wine that can be used for the same purpose.
Communion in Person
Some folks feel sensitive about the idea of taking Communion at home, they feel that if they miss taking the Communion at home they've sinned or they've fallen short in some fashion. And we need to remember the spirit of the thing. Do this in remembrance of me, Jesus said to remember Him and gave us this Lord's Supper as a means to do this when we gather as a group. It's not the end. It's a means to an end, it's the way that we do, that He has given us, to remember Him.
People who are shut into their homes because of the lockdown, sickness or any other reason, they're not forgetting Christ, they're not abandoning Christ, they're not abandoning their faith in Him either. Even though we may be restricted in accessing some of the elements to use in remembering Jesus, I encourage you not to be feeling too badly if you don't have access to these elements and you can't exercise the ritual part of it while you're at home. This pandemic will be over at some point in the future and we'll once again be able to gather together, to meet, and to have the Communion.
In the meantime, the Communion is not the only way to remember Jesus, we can pray and use our extra time to maybe dive a little deeper into God's Word, spend a little more time in prayer and reflection, find a way to serve someone else. A lot of other people, older people, shut in, could use a card, or could use a phone call in the name of the Lord for encouragement. So there are a lot of ways of remembering Jesus and maintaining our faith during these extraordinary times.
Well I appreciate your comments and your calls. If you're interested in observing and participating in an online worship, our congregation, the Choctaw Church of Christ, we have a full service that we put on. Nobody's in the building except the individuals putting on the service. If you'd like to watch and participate, we have a song service, we have a Communion service, we have a full sermon, prayer service, and so forth. You can simply go to choctaw.church. 9:30 Central Time, there's a Bible study, 10:30 Central Time, a full worship service. So we'd love to have you join us for that during the time that we're quarantined in our homes.