Day 13 of my “No dairy, no sugar” fast was a frigid cold day in March! With temperatures plummeting, greeting time was a bit chilly as worshippers rushed through the door to escape the frigid wind. Yet, we found it amply warm through worship as well as a spirit of unity through the celebration of communion (the Lord’s Supper). Later, the Lord allowed us to share in a very special visit with a friend who will have her Chemo Port put in tomorrow.
It truly does a body good to participate in corporate worship besides uniting our hearts with communion. But for what purpose do we observe the Lord’s supper?
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.1 Corinthians 11:26, ESV
The bread and the cup exalt the one-time sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. We partake to remember what He did on our behalf.
We also observe the Lord’s Supper in anticipation of our Savior’s return and the inauguration of His Millennial Kingdom. We are looking forward to that time of celebrating at His great banquet table (Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 19:6-9).
More than a time of passive reflection, there is heart-felt participation as a congregational act through which we corporately affirm our faith, celebrate the completed work of Christ, and focus on our unity.
Paul’s discussion of the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11, highlights the way we participate matters. Paul repeated the phrase “come together” five times (1 Corinthians 11:17-18, 20, 33-34). His intent is for the church to focus on their unity in Christ. By participating together in the Lord’s Supper, a visible expression to that unity is on display.
Additionally, the Lord’s Supper is an act of proclamation, giving public testimony to the message of the gospel. By observing it, we announce to those outside the church that Christ is the only way of salvation.
Finally, participation involves personal examination. “Let a person examine himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28). The call to personal examination before taking the Lord’s Supper should result in healthy participation.
Why do we observe the Lord’s supper? We observe to commemorate a past event, to anticipate a future event, and to participate in the celebration of life between the two, all of which is preceded by personal examination.
How did you invest this Sunday?