This will be my first post to this blog, so, I am going to make it easy for me and attach my notes from a communion meditation from a couple of weeks ago. I am not a very techie kind of guy and I wanted to make sure this all works for me. I promise to write more....
We have seen a lot of visitors here at ECC. Some have said that everyone in Mercer county have come to see us here, a few have stayed. That explanation is for another time, however, I got to thinking; We have the Lord’s supper, or communion at each of our worship service. Each time we do that, we prepare brief messages to prepare for this time, in order to understand what is going on and just what it is that this meal represents.
I mean; if someone came in here for the first time and we talked about the body and blood of Christ and then passed around the elements of the meal, that could be a bit confusing, right?
The reason we celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly was because we want to be a New Testament Church; we want to restore the essential faith and practice of the New Testament church. The original church had the Lord’s Supper weekly and so should we. However, it did not occur to me to ask a more significant question: why did the early church do it every week?
We can turn to scripture for the answer. On the night before Jesus was crucified and became the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, he told the disciples gathered there to remember what He did. He said to drink of the cup of wine that represented his shed blood and eat of the loaf of bread that represented his broken body. This is to remember what he did. Do this when you worship.
This is a significant event! Jesus wants us to remember it. This Lord’s Supper, or Communion meal has been practiced ever since. Unfortunately, this event has been altered by various groups over the years. It has been changed to mean other things than what Jesus intended. Changed to reflect the desires of the people. Consider an early church in Corinth around 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus:
The early church at Corinth was making of mess of this particular event and the Apostle Paul was trying to make it right. You can read an account of this in the Bible in Paul’s first letter to that church. Paul came to them to teach them what Jesus had said about this event. Here is his explanation of what this ceremony or sacrament or meal is:
Reading from the 10th chapter: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”
The key word in the text is Koinonia, a Greek word translated variously as fellowship, sharing, communion, or participation. Paul uses it here to express the deepest spiritual relationship between Christians and Christ and with one another. Here, in the Lord’s Supper, we share in the blood of Christ, we share in the body of Christ. Here we participate with Christ in his sacrifice and we participate with one another in Christ. Here we meet Jesus Christ and renew our vow allegiance to him.
Whether it is here or in some far off exotic location, in a small plain building or a magnificent Cathedral, with long-time friends or among people you hardly know, whether the worship is simple, like ours, or laden with tradition and complexity, every time we partake, the meaning is the same. We are here to meet Christ, to share in his sacrifice, to renew our loyalty to him, and to do it together with fellow Christians.
So, for the visitors here. This meal we are going to share is straightforward: a time of sharing of the meal that enables us to remember, again, the sacrifice that Jesus the Christ made for us. We eat it together as a family, this meal, right now, a body of believers in fellowship with Jesus.
Remember that as we eat.