I wrote this after last month's celebration of the Lord's Supper. I read it yesteday before we broke bread:
I love communion. Why can’t every Sunday be the first Sunday of the month when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper? A month seems so long. The preparation and gathering itself is an act of worship. I love the beauty and reverence of the ordinance; I love the simplicity and intimacy of the communion.
I like fresh bread, not those little stale crackers they give you in some churches. I like when the pastor breaks from one loaf, even if it’s only a small a bun the pastor breaks symbolically. One died for all: all partake of one loaf. I like when the pastor pours the wine. I like even more when he does from a small glass pitcher and chalice. Seeing the red wine reminds me of the precious blood shed for you and me. I do like when the table is on the floor, not elevated on the stage. On the floor reminds me it’s not an altar. The sacrifice has already been made by our great High Priest Jesus. All are welcome to the table. Finally, I like candles on the table. Even little crystal tea-light candles luminate the plates and glisten through the wine pitcher. I’m not a fussy person but think an overly wrinkled tablecloth is a subliminal downer. I’ve been to some fastidious, formal churches. I have been to other churches where the communion service was merely an afterthought. Though I wishe my ritualistic friends would loosen up, I prefer their service over the ones that quickly slap it together. I like singers to quietly sing in the background while the elements are being passed. I don’t like the congregation to sing during its service.
What I love most about the service is the symbolism.
The past: The bread and wine remind me of Jesus’ humanity and deity. He’s not 50% human and 50% God; He’s 100% man and 100% God. The bread is common, something we see and use every day. Jesus was common; he had parents like you and me. He was born in humble circumstances on that Christmas day. But when I see that wine, it reminds me his blood was divine; he was born of a virgin. Only his blood was worthy to be shed for us. Everyone else’s blood was tainted by sin. Our master’s blood didn’t deserve death but was given freely as a New Covenant of peace between God and us. Praise God for Christmas! Praise God for Good Friday! Praise God for Easter! Praise the Lord!
The present: Along with the theological implications of remembrance, I appreciate the sociologic image of simply being together as a family. We’re all pausing from our busy schedules, together as a family, “sharing a meal together”. I wonder if the Lord didn’t command us to do this, would we ever stop from our busyness to together remember his sacrifice? Every time I receive the plate from my brothers and sisters I recall my baptism, my public profession done once and forever stating “I am a Christian”. Communion is done over and over reminding us of the baptism each of us received. Others are receiving baptism and communion as new believers come to Christ from our witness. We’re a community of new birth.
The future: Finally, the Lord’s Supper reminds me of Glory to come. Jesus said we should remember this ordinance until he returns. Maranatha! He is returning today! If he doesn’t return today, he will be here tomorrow—let’s be ready for him. Beyond that, there will be a great feast in heaven where we shall see him as he is. Communion is a foreshadow to what we will celebrate in heaven. God is good. Communion is good. I can't wait until next month.