Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Lord's Supper (Mark 14:22-25)

In the institution of the Lord’s Supper in Mark’s Gospel we see two things clearly.

First, Jesus understood and applied His sacrificial death as payment for sins. He was clear about this before the cross. We have already seen this in His predictions, but here we see that the mechanics were also clear. This was the plan. It was the means of entry for sinful humanity into the holy Kingdom of God.

Second, this was not a sterile, methodical symbol. In reading this passage (and others) we are reminded of how much has been lost in this ordinance. Where did we go sideways on this? Perhaps it was when church tradition started to see all of church life and activity as occurring in a worship service. Or maybe it was when we started seeing size—and not fruitfulness—as the goal. It is hard to get a congregation of a certain size around a table. But when we insist that the Lord’s Supper has to occur in a certain context with certain people present, it limits us.

There is something special about having the Lord’s Supper around an intimate table, following or as a part of a real meal. When you insist that a “worship service” accompany it, then let me invite you to experience the wonder of a service in that same context, perhaps in the living room near that table.

However, a warning here is appropriate: it is hard to be a mere observer in such a context. You may find that you have to be the church when you worship in a home. And, if you are in your own home, it is hard to “leave” church and go back to “normal life.”

But that may be the very point of the Lord’s Supper. Making our community of faith all about normal life.

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