The laity hate it, by and large. And they are right to do so. They sense, as every Christian must in his heart, that our Blessed Lord never MEANT for this - table set against table, Christian divided from Christian, and scandals galore foisted upon the Church. When faithful pastors insist on the importance of the practice, it needs to be done always with the deep humility that confesses: "Nevertheless, it should not be so; it is only so because of our sin."
Faithful Lutherans practice a closed table. It is not permitted for those who contradict the apostolic faith we have received to share the table with us; you cannot be saying "yes" and "no" at the same time. In Christ, it all "yes" and "amen."
But the fact that we must, to be faithful, practice a closed communion in the current circumstances does not at all mean that being faithful entials SETTLING for a divided table and a divided Christendom. God forbid! We CANNOT settle for denominationalism! It is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of our Confessions - breathing as they do the spirit of our Lord's great high priestly prayer: "That they may all be one."
Rather, the pain of the divided table should impel us to pray more fervently, to honest self-examination for any ways we have fostered the Church's division by pride and arrogance, and to seek above all to lead the way for all Christians to enter into that stance of faith that simply says: "Yes!" to the Words and Promises of Christ by our own joyful submission to Christ.
"This is my body, given for you." "Amen!"
"This is my blood shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins." "Amen!"
When we can all bow before the truth of these (and all) of our Savior's words, without equivocation, then the days of the divided table and the divided Church will be at an end. How can any Christian not long and pray for that day?
The righteous indignation of many of our people will be soothed if they realize we pray with all our hearts and will do whatever it takes to work towards the realization of what we sing:
Let not Thy good Spirit forsake us;
Grant that heav'nly minded He make us;
Give Thy Church,
Lord, to see
Days of peace and unity;
O Lord, have mercy!