Wesleyan Methodist tradition’s current practice is to have various methods. Some do it weekly, some monthly, some quarterly, and some whenever they remember. Most of these churches, however, have little knowledge of what John Wesley said about communion.
Wesley’s Sermon 101 “Duty of Constant Communion”
John Wesley gave this sermon . In it, he uses Luke 22:19 as the basis for how Christians should view communion. He interprets this verse as a command. His first reason for taking communion is that it is a command, and so we should take it constantly. His second reason is that it is it benefits us and is mercy to us. That means that we should take it (or offer it as pastors) every chance we get.
Wesley encountered much of the critique we hear today on constant communion. He makes some great responses those thoughts. To those who do not think it necessary, “why do you not accept the mercy as often as ever you can?” A fair response, but it might followed by the question why does it not do me good. To which he replies “Whether it does you good or none, you are to obey the command of God.”
Another question is connected to feeling or being unworthy of taking communion, to which Wesley makes the point that no one is, hence it is a mercy, and that even if not mercy, “Do not rebel against Him for fear of offending Him.”
That most critical point that Wesley encountered is one that most pastors, even in the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition, have used for not offering constant communion. The point is that it makes us lose reverence for the sacrament. Wesley says this, “Suppose it did; has God ever told you, that when the obeying His command abates your reverence to it, then you may disobey it?” Since we would consider sacrament as part of a command, this would be a very important point to consider. (There are many other points, but that is not something for books, not for blogs.)
Wesleyan Methodist tradition should practice communion as often as they can. Sometimes we tend to do the bare minimum, which might show us what little reverence we really have towards the sacrament. It is mercy and command couple in the same event. It is sacrament showing reverence and yet intimacy with God. It is our gift, our right as children, and our privilege.
So grab the bread and the wine (or juice, if you’re part of certain traditions) and prepare yourselves to proclaim the gospel of the King. Prepare to share in remembrance of our Lord, who reigned in the beginning and reigns forever more.