Each time, in recent times, that I’ve had communion with an assembly of believers, I have sat there thinking that I have to write down my thoughts regarding this matter, and then I put in off due to other more pressing matters. Now, finally, I have done it 🙂
The matter of The Lord’s Supper, Communion, The Table of the Lord or even “serving of the Elements” is a very important part of our life as believers.
Firstly, it serves as a reminder. A reminder of what Yeshua has done for us, the price he paid for our redemption, and the new life he freely gave us. It reminds us that he paid the ultimate price for our lives, our redemption and our liberty. It also reminds us that we should continuously offer our own lives in service to God and to our fellow believers, and to the world, just like our Lord and Master has done.
Secondly, it serves as a confession. A confession of our dedication to Christ and to one another. It’s a statement that says we submit to our brother and sisters as we submit to Christ.
Thirdly, it serves as a reminder of our unity. There is one body and one head, all living for the glory of the Father. By drinking and eating together, that symbolic action translates into a binder that links us together. Nothing magic happens, like the Roman Catholics would make us believe (that the bread and wine turn into Christ’s body), but the declaration of unity before the One that binds us together in His body, is a powerful force. That is why Paul warns against eating and drinking a curse over ourselves if we do not confess our sins to one another and don’t ensuring that there is nothing between us, whether is be “our fault” or not. See 1 Cor 10:16.
Maybe there is more symbolism which doesn’t come to mind right now. Please post a comment or let me know and I’ll add it in here.
Well, for one, both Yeshua and Shaul (Paul) suggest that it should be often, if not daily. We all eat daily, don’t we (unless we’re fasting)? I have often wondered about the interpretation of Yeshua’s instruction at the last supper:
1 Cor 11:25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (Jubilee Translation)
Does this mean we should remember the blood and body when we have communion, or when we eat? The terms “as often as” being repeated surely indicates that we should to or frequently rather than now and again.
Taking from the Jewish context in which Yeshua was born and operated, it surely means at least every Friday evening when the Shabat meal is eaten, but there is nothing that prevents us from doing this daily. If this is indeed a proclamation of the Lord’s death, the we should be doing it at least daily! After all we do feed our bodies daily, how much more should we proclaim the death that saved our eternal souls.
Taking this one step further, I would suggest that this is where the christian custom of praying before we eat comes from. If we thank the Lord before each meal for the blood and body of Christ, and we take Shaul’s warning seriously, to ensure we are clean in our relationships, we would see an amazing blessing and a powerful demonstration of the power of unity in Christ.
One head: Christ
Another issue that we should consider doing as a rule, or at least whenever possible, is to take one bread and one jug and share it among ourselves. It’s so much better to portray the body and blood of Christ as one, instead of little tiny crisp-bread pieces and micro-cups that get passed around as if somehow the contents of the bread-plate or the juice in the cups hold magic. Satan has cleverly turned a powerful, frequent proclamation, into a whimsical, religious ceremony, devoid of the strong symbolism and powerful reminder that Yeshua has intended it to be.
Wolfgang Simson, in his 15 Theses puts it like this: Church tradition has managed to “celebrate the Lord’s Supper” in a homoeopathic and deeply religious form, characteristically with a few drops of wine, a tasteless cookie and a sad face. However, the “Lord’s Supper” was actually more a substantial supper with a symbolic meaning, than a symbolic supper with a substantial meaning. God is restoring eating back into our meeting.
Be a father
I would like to see all fathers take the lead in leading their families into remembering the death of Yeshua whenever they eat together. Sadly, many will have a hard time doing this, since they seldom eat together. It may also not be the most appropriate action at the local MacDonalds!
We should determine to restore what was lost by many in society: A family that eats together at least once a day, remembering the death and resurrection of the One who gave them life. If you can start with a loaf of bread and wine, then great. If you can’t, then take what you’ve got. After all, in Jewish culture bread and wine was very much an everyday thing. When I was in the army, we used coffee and rusks, since that was what we had. I remember it to this day, which is exactly what this is all about: Remembering what our life is all about and why we are. If we forget that, we may as well not be Christians any more, since then we would become just like all other religions: A human ritual soothing the mind into believing that we have somehow attained something spiritual, when in essence we have simply misled ourselves.