• Pastor Mike

Why we are not celebrating the Lord’s Supper during the Covid-19 Quarantine

Why we are not celebrating the Lord’s Supper during the Covid-19 Quarantine

It is very commendable that many are hungering and thirsting for the Sacrament of the Altar, also known as the Lord’s Supper. This is an opportunity for us to repent of taking this great and precious gift for granted when it was freely available and not treasuring it as we should. It is also a time for us to fast and pray and plead that God would end this pandemic so that we can come together again around God’s Word and Sacraments, as He desires.

God is like a loving husband who communicates his love for his wife in many different ways. Thankfully, the Lord’s Supper is not the only way that God loves us and strengthens our faith. Although we may feel like a wife who has lost a cherished and valuable gift that her husband gave her, God is still communicating His love and grace in many other ways.

Here are some encouraging and helpful words from our church leaders which guide us in this situation:

“We can be thankful that God in His mercy has not given the Lord’s Supper as the only “means of grace.” Instead, he showers us with His grace. The Gospel is not silenced, forgiveness is proclaimed, Baptism will be administered even in emergencies, and Baptism is lived out daily by means of repentance and the new life that God’s Spirit enables us to live in any and all circumstances.”

“In this uncertain time, let us encourage every baptized child of God to be fervent in seeking opportunities to hear the Word of God as it goes forth from written sermons, letters, websites, emails, streaming videos, and other means, to read the Word in their homes, to implore God to end this plague and preserve His church, and—as His royal priesthood—to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).”

Yes, this is the time for all fathers and husbands to lead their households in reading the Word of God and prayer. I can help you with that. If the men are not present or not willing, then mothers and wives must take on that responsibility.

“God is for us in this effort, because He Himself shows His grace and strengthens faith through His Word. Faith is strengthened whenever Christians let the Word of God dwell richly among them (Col 3:16). When public worship is not possible, there are still recorded and printed sermons. In each home, the Scriptures can be read, God be praised in song, and intercessions for the world be made. The present situation thus provides an opportunity to help Christians to either strengthen or reestablish the practice of family devotions.”

Although many are describing our predicament as “unprecedented”, we can gain wisdom from considering similar situations in the past:

“We know, however, that the church has known this hardship at other times and not only in our own time. During the early years of colonial America, Lutherans often went weeks or months without the Supper. Congregations without a pastor are often unable to receive the Lord’s Supper in their services because supply pastors are unavailable—sometimes for lengthy time periods. And, in the early 20th century during the great influenza epidemic of 1918–1919, many Missouri Synod churches were not able to meet for any services during a period of time. We are not in uncharted territory.”

We are now all shut-in. We are all homebound. We are all in the position in which many Christians find themselves during times of sickness, danger, and persecution. Let us remember that God “disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)

“Many of us will have to forgo for a while being gathered together to hear the Word of God, receive the Lord’s Supper, and join our voices in praise, thanksgiving and prayer. This happens regularly for individuals through illness. Now, because of illness, it is happening to us all at once. While the church endures this time of difficult physical separation, we wait with patient hope as so many other faithful followers of Christ have done before us in times of trial, whether in seasons of persecution, exile or plague. Our Lord is with His church and sustains, guides and unites us until the day He mercifully frees us to gather with one another again.”

Your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus (Rev. 1:8),

Pastor Mike Michalk

The above quotations are taken from the following documents: Communion in a Time of Social Distancing (Seminary Faculties) and Communion and COVID-19 (CTCR)


© 2015 BY Mt. Olive Lutheran Church