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Speaking of Communion…

September 2, 2008

We’ve spent the past week visiting family in Texas. We went to church with them on Sunday, and must have caught it just right – they were celebrating the Lord’s Supper – which they rarely do. While I am thankful that they were celebrating it that day – especially since my children are used to celebrating it weekly – I couldn’t help but notice a few things.

First, the sermon was about the Last Supper – which is fine – except that the pastor “internalized” the entire actions of the Last Supper account. Where Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and then gave it to the disciples, the pastor applied these actions to our lives as Christians: Jesus takes us, blesses us, then breaks us, and then gives us (service). Again, this wasn’t so bad – a bit of a stretch at some points – but not without merit. The problem was that he never discussed the reality of the Supper, thereby leaving people to concentrate on themselves rather than reality of the Meal. This is a reoccurring theme in the evangelical church today – individualism. Certainly there is an aspect of our Christian walk that requires us to reflect, repent, and reform our individual walks, but this is never divorced from our congregational reality. Instead, the focus was on our daily walk, the everyday blessings and the unavoidable “breakings” that we must recognize and use as part of our sanctification. The pastor missed the perfect opportunity! If we are taken, blessed, broken, and given, then this is what happens at the Lord’s Supper – or more specifically – every Lord’s Day when we renew covenant with God! He calls us(takes us) to worship, we confess our sins corporately, we are reminded (blessed) of His remarkable forgiveness, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices in praise and He breaks us with the sword of Truth, only to rebuild us and remake us into something better, something useful, and He invites us to sit and dine with Him, strengthening us before sending us (giving us) out into the world for another week.

Second, this church had a number of big screens in use during worship.  (As an aside, I had forgotten how distracting these screens are. We were dead center, about 8 rows from the front in a pretty big church, yet I kept looking at the screen rather than the pastor – who was less than 20 feet away). Anyways, during communion, they had this nice, comforting picture on the big screeens of a wine glass and loaf of bread next to welcoming fireplace. Unfortunately, they served us miniscule wafers and thimbles full of grape juice. My kids were quite disappointed, to say the least. Especially the baby, who is used to eating off of Denise’s hunk of bread.

Finally, it has been a while since I was a part of a Lord’s Supper where the mood was solemn. What a drag! Here we are, dining with our Lord and other Christians, celebrating victory over death, and we have to sit there with our heads bowed, listening to some guy sing (we couldn’t even sing!!!) a rather depressing song – which is not surprising given that there was no other time in service dedicated to confession. Of course, our two youngest – who are used to a celebration – rejoiced out loud when it came time to eat and drink. Thankully we didn’t get any stink eyes.

On a positive note, regardless of the carelessness of the observance, it was still encouraging to look around the big church and see about 800 other Christians eating and drinking together, which, when I think about it, is what really matters most.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 3, 2008 5:12 am

    If you haven’t read “Conversations With Nathan” it is great for a laugh, and surely you will relate! Here’s a link…

    http://oldfatslowland.blogspot.com/2007/11/conversations-with-nathan.html

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