The Lord's Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat
and to drink. It is the ministration of His very Body and Blood. It gives exactly what it says: "the forgiveness of sins," as the words declare: "Given for
you," and: "Shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," (Luke 22:19, 20; Matthew 26:28), and "This cup is the New Testament in My
blood" (1 Corinthians 11:23; Jeremiah 31:31-34). In the Lord's Supper, we receive Christ's very body and blood into our mouths, not in a spiritual way, but truly,
physically. This is a sacred mystery revealed in Scripture and believed by faith. Christ is truly present, not because of our faith, but because of His promise in the Word. Therefore, those who do not truly believe still receive Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians
11:27 ff.). Those who receive it unworthily, that is, without repentance or faith, receive it to
their judgment. For this reason, Lutheran (LCMS) Churches practice Closed Communion. This is an act of love on behalf of the Church to
protect people from receiving it unworthily and to their harm.
The Lord's Supper is celebrated at this congregation in the confession and glad confidence that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and
wine but His very body and blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another. Our Lord invites to His table those who trust His words,
repent of all sin, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as He forgives and loves us, that they may show forth His death until He comes.
Because those who eat and drink our Lord's body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is
confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold to a confession differing from that of this congregation and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and yet desire to
receive this sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor.
It is our desire that all people would commune with us, but out of high regard for God's Word, we believe, teach, and confess that unity in confession comes before unity in communion. Therefore,
we invite everyone to make their confession of faith before God and man. God asks that the pastor, the congregation, and you to all believe, teach, and confess the same thing! If you attend another
church from another denomination, and if your confession is at all different from ours, we will let you know! We simply ask that you give us the chance to instruct you on why we believe what we
believe! Then, if you certainly are united in the same confession with us at Zion, then we would gladly welcome you as a member of this church! Know that this is all done purely out of love for God,
care for you, and for true unity in our church! We hope that you give us the opportunity to share with you this wonderful news!
What should I do when I arrive?
Find the pastor and introduce yourself. Tell him where you go to church. Please, do not invite yourself up to communion, even if you are a member of a congregation in the Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod. God has given the pastor the responsibility to welcome people to the altar as well as keep people from the altar who might receive the Lord's Supper to their harm rather
than to their benefit. He is a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1), which means that God has charged him with the great responsibility to commune only those who, as far as he can tell,
confess what the Bible teaches. This is very serious. The pastor will be judged for how he handles Christ's Sacrament, and your faith can be damaged if you do not receive the body and
blood of Christ with a true confession and conscience. Therefore, if you are a Missouri Synod Lutheran, please be aware that this is not a guarantee that you can take the Lord's
Supper. The pastor should know who your pastor is, the name of your congregation, and whether you have learned and believe the Christian faith as it is summarized in the the Small
Catechism. This is a great opportunity for you to talk about God's Word with the pastor. That's what he's there for. And talking about God's Word is always beneficial. It
reveals Jesus to us, our Savior from sin and hell. We pray that whether or not you commune with us on your visit, that you be edified by the Word of our gracious God.