WHY DO WE PRACTICE CLOSE COMMUNION?
As opposed to many other churches, Trinity normally shares Holy Communion with those in the Lutheran faith who are in fellowship with us. Why is this so? While it sounds very judgmental, it is actually a desire on our parts to care for all of God's people. 1 Corinthians 11: 27-29 tells us, "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." If someone who is visiting, sees the Sacrament being celebrated and desires to partake of it, he or she might not know what is being shared. Since this could result in the Supper being taken "unworthily", we normally insist on people being instructed in the faith before such communing.
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE HOLY COMMUNION SO OFTEN?
One of the great blessings of Holy Communion is the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26: 28 reads, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Each time the Sacrament is celebrated, that forgiveness is shared with God's people. A second blessing is a strengthened faith. As Romans 8: 31-32 reads, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" With these blessings, why would we not want to commune as often as possible? It is a privilege for the Christian.
WHY DO WE BAPTIZE BABIES?
There are a number of reasons why we baptize babies. First of all, in the great commission, Matthew 28: 19, the Lord directs us to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Babies are part of those nations. Secondly, we know that Jesus invited little ones to come to Him. For instance in Luke 18, Jesus said, "People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Thirdly, we believe that all babies receive from their parents a natural desire to sin; as explained in John 3: 6, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit." Babies need God's forgiveness too. And, finally, we know that babies can also believe, as shown in Matthew 18: 6, "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." We very much desire to care for these little ones, beginning with their baptisms.