What does the Lord’s Supper look like in the Bible?
It looks like supper – a complete meal.
I don’t want to trash what the Lord’s Supper now looks like in most gatherings of the church, but I do want to point out aspects that we miss when this becomes a ritual rather than a gathering around a table.
Primarily, we miss a significant portion of the relationship building that occurs when we break bread together.
By turning this time into a thimble of juice or wine and a small wafer, we miss a lot of what Jesus wants us to remember. Yes, there is significant meaning and symbolism in the bread and the cup regarding Jesus’ sacraficial death on our behalf, but Jesus also wants us to remember His life. His life reveals how important it is to develop deep and meaningful relationships with the people around us, and by far one of the best ways to do this is around a table enjoying a real meal.
Another piece we’ve distorted is how we “take” the Lord’s Supper. In the tradition I grew up in, the Lord’s Supper was always a very solemn occasion. It was about trying to remember everything we had done wrong and asking forgiveness for it. And then, just to be safe, asking forgiveness for whatever things we had done wrong and had already forgotten about.
This is not the essence of the Lord’s Supper. We’re already forgiven…forgiven for all our sins – past, present, and future. Forgiveness is what the cross is all about, and it’s a big part of what Jesus wants us to remember.
So, the Lord’s Supper should be an absolute celebration! A celebration of the life Jesus lived. A celebration of His sacrafice that brings total forgiveness to us. A celebration of His resurrection which proved all of Jesus’ claims to be true.
Most importantly, the Lord’s Supper should be a community celebration – around a table full of food and drink.
Where do I get this idea?
First, we see this where it all began, with Jesus and His disciples gathered around a full table celebrating the Passover meal.
Then, we can see this when the Apostle Paul admonished the gatherings in Corinth regarding the Lord’s Supper because some were eating and drinking too much. This would be tough to do with thimbles and tiny wafers. Clearly, they were enjoying a complete meal.
I won’t say we need to do away with thimbles and wafers, but if that’s the only form of the Lord’s Supper we know, then we’re missing out on so much. So, let me encourage you to invite some friends over, serve good food and drink, and as you do, talk about Jesus – remember and celebrate all He’s done for us.
Let’s talk about it (reply below) –
If this is a new understanding of the Lord’s Supper for you, how could this change your meal times?
If this is not new to you, how would you encourage others to celebrate Christ in this way?