All of us Christians know, that when the Lord’s supper starts everyone has to be quiet and respectful. We have to examine ourselves so as not to partake in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), we have to make sure we aren’t carrying any grudges against a brother or sister in Christ (Matthew 5:23,24), and we have to make sure that we’re not hungry (1 Corinthians 11:34). At least not for food anyway. Surely it’s not the time to entertain theological debates or deal with doubts about whether or not it “really” is the blood or body of Christ. Regardless, we’re all in agreement, that this “sacrament” should be done by an ordained minister, or, in some rare cases an elder. Aren’t we?
Last night, in our Discipleship Group, we decided to “celebrate,” yes, “celebrate” the Lord’s supper. Ever wonder where that phrase originated? Somehow, saying that we “practiced” the sacrement, or “exercised the ordinance” of seems dry, impersonal and void of meaning. It is a celebration, isn’t it? And so, it began…
“In the same we took the cup after we had eaten, and said, “This cup which is poured out for us is the new covenant in Jesus blood. Luke 22:20 Paraphrase
We had already eaten some cake and drank some coffee, we had discussed as a group the manner in which we should approach the throne of grace, Hebrews 4:16, and we shared our personal experiences about the obstacles in doing so. We asked whether or not there were conditions necessary in order to approach that throne of grace and whether or not conditions could exist that would keep us from the throne of grace.
We talked about the significance of the Lord’s Supper for a little while and then someone suggested we sing a couple of songs accompanied by guitar. We as a group sought to enter that throne of grace. As one was explaining the significance of the bread and Christ’s represented body therein, it happened. People started to ask questions! Personally, I’ve never seen that before. There was mutual and participatory discussion, laughing, a little bit of healthy debating, and much contemplation. All of this AFTER the ordinance had already started. We prayed together, examined ourselves, and took the bread.
Ok, this time it really started….
Another explained the significance of the wine which represented the new covenant in Christ’s blood. Again the atmosphere took on that familiar and “acceptable” tone. But soon after, there was another barrage of comments, questions, and testimonies. It was strange for all of us there, but at the same time Super-Natural, more natural, and liberating.
We took the cup, prayed again, and then sang a final song together. Afterwards there was a buzz of fellowship and all expressed a deep satisfaction with the Lord and each other. My wife and I agreed that it was the longest Lord’s supper we had ever experienced, and yet, for both of us, the most fulfilling.
Should what happened in our home last night be the norm for “Celebrating” the Lord’s Supper?