“The Lord’s Supper is the World’s Greatest Monument Commemorating the World’s Greatest Event” (Rob Harbison)
Just like millions of other Christians around the globe, the saints at Wilsonville partake of the Lord’s Supper and COMMUNE with the Father, The Son and with each other every First Day of the week. Scriptures command it, and by example we know New Testament Christians did exactly the same thing and in the same way. For the First Century church, The Lord’s Supper was observed when the brethren CAME TOGETHER on the first day of the week. It was a COMMUNION. Scripture also makes it clear that each member had a PERSONAL responsibility to eat the supper as Christ commanded. Let’s look at both the Coming Together aspect and PERSONAL side of this Memorial Feast.
In Scripture, the term Communion means “a sharing with, a fellowship, a participation with, or having in common”. The Lord’s Supper is a Communion in which Christians share together and have in common the remembrance of Jesus death on the cross. We are commanded to eat it together with other Christians. Partaking of the communion is an act of mutual sharing and fellowship. “The cup of blessing that WE bless, is it not a PARTICIPATION in the blood of Christ? The break that WE break, is it not a PARTICIPATION in the body of Christ?” (I Cor 10:16). Another passage on this COMMON or SHARING aspect is found in Acts 20:7. “Now 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”. (ACTS 20:7).
The following verses teach us that the Lord’s Day Breaking of Bread can be observed correctly or incorrectly. In writing to the saints at Corinth, Paul condemned them on two counts in their PARTICIPATION TOGETHER. “When you COME TOGETHER, it is not the Lord’s Supper that you eat. For in your eating each one takes his own supper first (I Cor 11:20). And concerning the timing of the observance, he said, “So then, my brothers, when you COME TOGETHER to eat, wait for one another…”. (I Cor 11:33). And the “Landmark” passage on N. T. observance of this Memorial Feast is found in Acts 2:42: “And THEY CONTINUED steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, in the BREAKING OF BREAD, and in prayers”.
The fellowship, the sharing, the blessing, the participating, and the common bond we feel among ourselves each first day of the week are not only commanded, but they are good and beneficial for us. Christ made it so! But proper observance of the Supper is not a group effort only. It is very much a PERSONAL eating and drinking, and a PERSONAL time of reflection and thought. Let’s notice what Matthew and Luke record in their gospel accounts of the institution of the Feast Divine.
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to his disciples, and said, ‘ TAKE EAT, this is My body’. And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them saying, ‘DRINK OF IT, ALL OF YOU…”. (Matt 26:26-27). “And He took a cup and when He had given thanks, He said, ‘Take this, and DIVIDE IT AMONG YOURSELVES. …And He took bread, and when He had 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”. (Luke 22:17-19).
In the First Corinthian epistle, Paul really focused on the PERSONAL ASPECT of our observance of the Lord’s Supper. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered TO YOU; that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘TAKE EAT, this is My body which is broken FOR YOU; DO THIS in remembrance of Me’. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup in 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 Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore WHOEVER eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let A MAN examine HIMSELF and so let HIM eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For HE who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to HIMSELF, not discerning the Lord’s body”. (I Cor 11:23-29).
Those last three statements are about as PERSONAL as it gets in regards to how we partake of the Lord’s Supper each week, declaring guilt and judgment on all INDIVIDUALS who eat and drink in an unworthy way. As we commune together, may God help us to make that time very PERSONAL between ourselves and Christ as our Savior. Each of us must be attentive to our thoughts, our attitudes, and our focus leading up to and during the Feast Divine.
“That dreadful night before His death, the Lamb for sinners slain;
Did almost with His dying breath this solemn feast ordain.
To keep the feast, Lord WE have met, and to remember Thee,
Help EACH redeemed one to repeat, “FOR ME, HE DIED FOR ME!”
Show ME the cross of Calvary, Open MY eyes to see
Thy dying form in agony; Lord, make it real to ME.
Lord, make Calvary real to ME! Jesus dying in agony;
Thy great sacrifice let ME see. Lord, make Calvary real to ME!
Low at the cross of Calvary, Bowed is MY heart as I see
Grace that can save eternally; Lord, make it real to ME.
Lord, make Calvary real to ME! Jesus dying in agony,
Thy sacrifice let ME see; Lord, make Calvary real to ME!
May God help our minds dwell on these thoughts each week before and during our observance of the Lord’s Supper!