2002-01-04 - The Lord's Supper
The Christian's Toolbox, Part 6
It is known by several names, including the Lord's Supper and Holy Communion. Some Christians believe the wine (or grape juice) and bread are literally Christ's blood and body (Transubstantiation), while others believe they are representative. Some believers choose to drink from a common cup, while others use individual cups. Some churches serve Communion once each quarter, and others offer it weekly. But one thing is not optional: Christ expects us to partake of the Lord's Supper. It is one of the sacraments ordained by Him. He says, "do this."
Luke 22:19-20 (NASB) And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'' And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."
Sometimes we become overwhelmed with stresses, and our prioirites get out of order. Taking communion can refocus us on Christ, and remind us of His sacrifical redemption of us. The Lord's Supper also unites us with our Christian brothers and sisters, both in our own churches and around the world. One of my favorite celebrations is World Communion Day.
There are some guidelines that we are to follow. We are to appreciate the gravity of what we are doing.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NASB) Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.
We are to examine ourselves before we take Communion. Ask God to reveal to you any sins you need to confess.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (NASB) Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
We are not to be inconsiderate or greedy.
1 Corinthians 11:20-21 (NASB) No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
Some people are unable to attend church, and there are local pastors (like my own) who are willing to visit periodically and serve communion. No one should miss out on this vital experience.