Every week at Christ Presbyterian Church, we come to the Lord’s Table. We’re loud and we have fun with it. We want the Lord’s Table to be a time when we commune with each other, as well as with the Lord. But make no mistake: the sacrament of Communion is a ritual—something we repeat over and over again in order to remember a foundation truth. What is that truth?
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV)
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
When the Apostle Paul explained how Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he made this application: “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again.” We come to the communion table to remember what Christ has done. But we also come to publicly proclaim our faith in what Christ has done, and to look forward together to his return.
Remember. Proclaim. Anticipate. Together.
The Lord’s Supper is personal, but it is not private. It is meant to be witnessed by others because it is a profession of faith—a proclamation that what sustains Christian people in life is the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the grave. The Lord’s Table is meant to be a place where Christians gather around one table and all partake together, proclaiming its significance as one people.
Because the Lord’s Table is a proclamation of Christ’s death, it is, by definition, meant to be a corporate event the entire Body of Christ participates in. Communion is a part of congregational life together. It is where we remind each other of the greatest thing that has ever happened to any of us. It is where we remember that Christ’s body and blood unites us to one another for all eternity. It is where we remember that Christian friendships are eternal friendships.
Without this communion with Christ, we have no communion with God the Father. Without the sacrifice this table represents, we would be utterly lost for all eternity. But notice the last part of Paul’s proclamation. At the Lord’s Table, we proclaim Jesus’ death until he comes again. This table will not continue on for all eternity. One day Christ will come again and his church will no longer commune with him around these particular elements of the bread and cup, but as his bride gathered around the marriage supper of the Lamb—never to be separated from his holy presence. The communion table will one day be replaced by the marriage supper of the Lamb. So we come to it for a while with a communion that is loud and regular, in the expectant hope that the celebration is only just beginning.
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