Improving the Lord’s Supper
The church came together on the first day of the week to take communion (Acts 20:7). The early church gave the example we follow to partake of the communion the first day of every week. But even the church that was closest to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ did it incorrectly (1 Cor 11:17). We still have an obligation to ensure we do it properly, not making it either routine, or a drunken feast.
Act 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
1 Cor 11:17-22 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
God has always given His people memorials that help them to commemorate significant events (Josh 4:1-7). Each memorial has a spiritual purpose that help people to remember something significant and the power of God (Josh 4:21-24). In Texas we have historical markers that line highways and sometimes they are no more than a house or sometimes they are a great battle field. Our own society believes certain things are important enough for us to remember. God wants His people to remember not the great events of mankind but the things that God has done for the people so that they don’t forget. The Passover was such a memorial to help the people remember that God not only delivered them out of slavery but also that death passed them over so they did not suffer as the Egyptians (Exodus 12:14-17, 24-25).
The memorial we have in the New Testament is the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of me.” It gives us an opportunity to think on what Jesus had done for us and it gives an opportunity to explain to others and our children of God’s love, mercy and grace (1 Peter 3:15, Eph 6:4).
The Communion is not to be made a common thing. The Corinthians, in the passage above, would make the Lord’s Supper into a feast where they had a good time instead of remembering Christ (1 Cor 11:27-32). We are guilty if we take the Communion in an unworthy manner, if we do it without reverence. The people that crucified Jesus had no regard for Him, had no reverence for Him, and no respect. If we take the Communion without thinking, we do the same thing.
- Focus. Visualize what Jesus went through. A physical posture can help you to focus. Shut out the distractions that are around you. It’s a time for reflection so use the silence to help you focus on Jesus, instead of trying to fill that time with some entertainment or thinking forward to the rest of your day. Use that time for what it is intended to be.
- Don’t rush. Jesus served the Lord’s Supper to His disciples (Matt 26:26-28). Pause and remember His sacrifice. There is no need to hurry to pass the trays. Rushing through it takes time and focus away from you and others.
Psalm 77:12-15 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
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