The Lordís supper is a solemn occasion to remember the death of our Lord and
the great sacrifice He made for us on Calvary. It ought to be observed with the
seriousness and dignity that befits the occasion. I do not imply that the
partaking of the Lordís supper is more important than any other act of worship.
They are all equally important. The Christian is to participate in each activity
in spirit and in truth (JOHN 4:24). The death of Christ was a propitiation
(atoning sacrifice ,1 JOHN 2:2) for us, that God might be able to forgive us our
sins and put us into a covenant relationship with Him. No other act except the
death of the sinless Son of God on the cross could accomplish this.
CONSIDER THE PURPOSE OF THE LORDíS SUPPER
The apostle Paul tells us that the purpose of the Lordís supper is to remember
In 1 Corinthians 11:25-26. ďThis cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do,
as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this
bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lordís death till He comes.Ē (nkjv).
We see in verse 25 that the Lordís supper is a remembrance; a memorial if you
will, of the Lordís sacrifice of Himself for us. Man builds memorials and
monuments of stainless steel, granite or marble; material he hopes will endure.
The Son of God built a memorial that has lasted 2000 years; assembled each week
from perishable elements. Unleavened bread and grape juice are not enduring
materials. They will mold and become stale. Yet these very elements, prepared
weekly by faithful hands; become, by faith, the body and blood of the Lord in
the communion service every first day of the week. The Lordís supper is a
lasting memorial, for the purpose of observing (looking back on) the Lordís
death on Calvary, and faithful Christians will continue to partake of it ďuntil
THE FREQUENCY OF OBSERVING THE LORDí SUPPER
The ďwhenĒ of partaking the Lordís supper is found by example of what the early
church did. ďNow on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together
to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued
his message until midnight.Ē (ACTS 20:7). There is no other example of the early
church partaking of the Lordís supper on any other day of the week. Those who
claim they can do so need to cite their authority from Scripture. Divine silence
eliminates every day but the first day of the week. We see also that the Lordís
supper is a congregational function, rather than an individual one. It is
something done ďwhen the disciples came together.Ē I believe this eliminates
carrying the communion to shut-ins in hospitals, and private or nursing homes.
If one cannot assemble, then he or she is excused from partaking. We can do many
things individually; we can sing and pray; study and teach others. But the
Lordís supper (and the giving of oneís means), is a congregational function or
activity. Let us be dedicated to observe the Lordís supper with other disciples,
upon the first day of the week.
THE MANNER OF OBSERVING THE LORDíS SUPPER
The manner in which a Christian observes the Lordís supper should be the
attitude he or she would display in engaging in any act of divine worship. The
apostle Paul tells us we can control our thinking (PHIL.4:8). So as we observe
the Lordís supper, we need to concentrate on Jesusí death for us on Calvary; the
suffering, the anguish He went through in order to secure our salvation. Try to
block out external distractions, that we may meditate on the greatest sacrifice
the world has ever known. A few well-chosen remarks by the one presiding at the
table will help each disciple to meditate on Calvary.
DUTIES OF THE ONE PRESIDING AT THE COMMUNION SERVICE
The brother who presides at the serving of the Lordís supper can do a great deal
to make the service meaningful to the participants. This should involve
something more than simply reading MATT .26:26-29 or LUKE 22:17-20, where Jesus
instituted the supper. This is fine, but tells us little or nothing about why He
was instituting the Supper. There are many passages that dwell on His suffering
and death that would be more appropriate for the communion service. Some of
these would be: PSALM 22; HEBREWS 2:9-17;HEBREWS 7:22-27; HEBREWS 9:24-28; 1
PETER 1:18-21; 2:21-25. The one in charge, or ďpresidingĒ at the service should
be neatly dressed and well prepared to lead the congregation in a meaningful
participation of the Lordís supper.
DUTIES OF THOSE WHO SERVE THE COMMUNION
Those who serve the congregation are important to an orderly and meaning
communion service. They should also be neatly dressed in their best. A tee shirt
and jeans are not appropriate attire to appear before the congregation (unless
that is all one has to wear). We are in the spiritual presence of the Son of
God; not attending a football game. Neat, clean clothing is essential. The
brothers serving should strive to serve the communion in an orderly manner,
seeing that no one is overlooked. Those who are serving should not partake of
the communion first, but serve themselves last, at the rear of the auditorium,
or where it has been decided in advance. Good judgment and common sense should
prevail. The congregation is to be served first; themselves last.
PRAYING AT THE SERVING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
A few words need to be said regarding the prayers offered at the table for the
bread and the fruit of the vine. Too often, a brother will pray for everything
and anything, and sometimes nearly forget to give thanks for the elements
involved. The observance of the Lordís supper is not the time to ask for
forgiveness of sins, or to pray for the sick, or for safe travel, etc. These
items should be taken care of in the opening prayer. The prayers at the Lord's
table should be brief and to the point.
The prayers offered at the Lordís table should keep the congregationís thinking
focused on Calvary, and what was accomplished by Jesus on our behalf. The
brethren who pray and serve the communion service are vital to making the
service meaningful to each disciple. Donít consider this a ďlittle dutyĒ or
chore to be carried out. Your faithful service here is extremely important to
the proper partaking of the Lordís supper on the first day of the week.