Liturgy: The Lord’s Supper
This is part seven in a series on the liturgy at Renovation Church, which is a part of a larger series on worship. For an explanation of what liturgy is, start here. To go back to the beginning of our series on worship, click here.
Sharing a meal can be a wonderful time. When you are with your family and friends, a meal together is a time to love and nurture relationships with people you love. My wife and I love having people over for meals. There is something about it that encourages us. We get to bless others with food. We take the time to prepare a meal and environment that makes others feel like they are a part of our family. And, it is hopefully a time in which guests feel welcome. Unity, encouragement, love, and fellowship can all happen around the supper table together. It is such a refreshing time. Christians ought to understand the value of time spent together for a meal because of another meal in which all Christians participate.
The Lord’s Supper is one of the two ordinances, baptism being the other, given to the church by our Lord Jesus Christ. We see Jesus instituting the Supper with His disciples in Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:14-20; and as Paul gave directions for worship to the church at Corinth, we read about the Supper in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:17-34. This meal is to be observed until the closing of this age as a perpetual remembrance of Christ and His sacrifice; at the table, we remember Jesus and all He has done for His people. But, we are also making a statement about the hope we have in the future. As Paul said: “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
But, far be it from being merely a memorial meal, the Lord’s Supper is also a means of grace by which the believer communes with Christ who is spiritually present by the Holy Spirit; at the table, believers who rightfully participate by faith receive and are nourished by Christ and the Spirit for continuing obedience to God’s law and greater hope in God’s gospel. At the table, grace sanctifies, strengthens, and nourishes the believer as we meet with Christ by His Spirit at the table.
The Supper is a confirmation of the believers union and communion with Christ and His church. When we come to the Supper in faith, Christ not only meets us but welcomes us. We are allowed to partake because we are family members. We are welcome to come and partake of Christ’s spiritual body and blood. And, as we do so we do not come alone. We come together. Christians who partake of the meal are also doing so with a mind toward the believers around them. When we come together, we come acknowledging each other’s fellowship with Jesus and the resultant fellowship we have with one another.
Meals with others are great. They really are. But, there is no meal like the one we come to on the Lord’s Day. No food nourishes like the body and blood of Christ. No communion is so sweet as the one we have when Jesus meets us at the table by His Spirit. No fellowship so comforting as when Christ welcomes us and we welcome each other. There is no memory to be more fondly remembered than all that Jesus did for us on the cross. And, there is no better hope to look forward to than that one eternal day when Christ returns. Sharing the Lord’s Supper is a wonderful time.