The Lord’s Supper: The Gospel According to the Five Senses

I vividly remember the weekend when my view of communion changed. It was a three-day spiritual retreat in rural Dooly County, Georgia. I was not sure what was going to happen. Those who had sponsored by trip had been rather cryptic about it all. I don’t really remember if I had any expectations. What I can say today, is that what happened, I definitely did not expect.
Continue reading “The Lord’s Supper: The Gospel According to the Five Senses”

Lent Day #29 | Communion

I mentioned yesterday how much I have grown to appreciate the mystery of the Lord’s Supper. When we gather together as God’s people to eat the bread and drink from the cup we are joining in a long and important tradition of the church. We are saying to ourselves and to each other, “We believe in what Jesus has done for us, and is doing in us.”

Communion bread and cup

The power of this sacrament is experienced when we participate in faith. What this means is we are not coming to the table wishing God would interact with us. When we come and celebrate the Lord’s supper with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are are saying we know (as best as we can) that God is present with us.

Not everyone believes this. Some people think it is merely a memorial. I, however, find this to be a misunderstanding of God’s means of grace. A means of grace is when God takes something ordinary, in this case bread and juice, and uses it to communicate his grace and message of redemption. Therefore, Communion and baptism are the best known, but are not the only means God uses to proclaim his love to us.

It would be wise for us to take time and consider, and possibly even reconsider, what we believe about the sacraments. Our task is not a understand every single facet of what God is doing. Rather, we should trust and believe that when we come God is present with us. It is an invitation, where God invites us to dine with him.

The Incarnation of Jesus Leads to Worship

This past weekend I not only spent some time with great friends serving college students, but I was once again brought face to face with the greatest truth and mystery of the Christian faith. Over the course of three-and-a-half days I celebrated The Lord’s Supper five times. It would be easy to think that doing something this regularly would have a negative effect in appreciating it. In fact, the opposite effect is felt.

One of the most poignant verses of scripture related to Communion is found in 1 Corinthians 11:26. While the Apostle Paul is trying to correct some of the errors and abuses that were happening in the Corinthian church.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This truly is a wonderful mystery. Every time we participate in communion and celebrate The Lord’s Supper we are able to witness how God can dissolve the concept of time into one moment. Just take the time to consider how Paul does this in this verse.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup (in the present),
you proclaim the Lord’s death (in the past)
until he comes (in the future).

During one of the moments of Communion was struck by the glorious truth of what we as Christian’s call the Incarnation. I do not believe it would be a stretch to say that the without the Incarnation there is no Christianity. This single teaching of the Christian church is so important that without it every hope is lost. The entire prospect of salvation hinges on whether or not God became like one of us. I have included my thoughts below. I offer it as a meditation on how the incarnation of Jesus leads to worship.

The glorious mystery of the incarnation reveals the utter majesty of our great God and King. He who is full of glory and with unquenchable power has entered into a broken world. He has come so that I, a wretched sinner might know the unhindered presence of grace. This is the offer of true grace. Nothing withheld. Nothing denied. Nothing lacking. Complete salvation. Once and for all delivered through the womb of a woman.

Oh mystery of mysteries. How could this be? How could God accomplish so much through what appears to be something so weak–a baby weeping? Only an all powerful God could use one of the weakest images of the human experience and accomplish the redemption of, not just one man or woman, but of all of them. Now and forever. God has come in the flesh.

What great love this is. What a demonstration of unbridled and wasteful grace. God has so much grace to give he gives and gives and is not bothered by the fact that it will not all be consumed.

How could I ever feel unsatisfied by the grace of God? Only if I have accepted a substitute. Only if I have allowed another Gospel, which is no gospel at all, to pollute my heart and mind with lies about Jesus.

The incarnation is a glorious mystery. I don’t understand it. But then again. I don’t really want to.