I have been asked to preach a message this Sunday on the significance of the Lord’s Table in our worship of Christ. Our senior pastor will be away on a vacation with family in Jackson Hole, WY. I will be answering the following questions: What is involved in worship at the table? Who can participate in it? How do we maximize our participation in Communion? Then we will actually share in Communion together.
There are two distinctive elements of Christian worship–baptism and Communion. There are many other ways we worship the Lord, but each of them has a parellel in other religions and is “understood” by the world. Giving, singing, scripture reading, preaching, teaching, serving, fellowship–these are all found in one form or another in the other religions of the world. But Christian baptism and the Lord’s Table are unique to the church. They were instituted by Christ to be a perpetual symbol for the church, each picturing a basic truth of salvation. It is troubling, then, to see so many churches minimizing these preeminent elements of worship in favor of more novel forms. Communion is often hurriedly tacked on to the end of a service, so that people can get out the door and be the first in line at Piccadilly.
How could we ever be cold, stale, and affectionless in our participation in the church’s remembrance of Christ? Perhaps it is because we have a sloppy understanding of what it’s true meaning is. Charles Spurgeon gave a good analogy on what the Lord’s Supper is really all about. It is not a ritual that centers on the elements (bread and cup), but a means through which we see and savor Jesus Christ:
“Never mind the bread and wine, unless you can use them as folks often use their spectacles. What do they use them for? To look at? No, to look through them. So, use the bread and wine as a pair of spectacles. Look through them, and do not be satisfied until you can say, ‘Yes, yes, I can see the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’”
Next time your local church gathers to remember Christ at His table, look through the bread and wine to see Christ. Don’t be content with anything less.