The Lord’s Supper
Nourishes Relationships Too
The Lord’s Supper is usually mentioned and often observed during the Easter season and there is good reason for that. It acknowledges elements of the resurrection story, the shed blood and broken body of Jesus. It makes sense.
The observance is patterned after the Last supper Jesus enjoyed before His arrest and trial. You could say it was His last moment of sanity before everything fell apart. His last quiet time before the storm.
Our church always observes the Lord’s Supper during Easter but not the stripped down version. We try to create a meal-like atmosphere. Not a full blown meal but as close as we can get during a service.
It was during a meal that Jesus instituted the symbolism of wine-to-blood and bread-to-body so there is nothing in a meal that diminishes that truth. In fact, the history of meal-time adds richness to the idea.
Unfortunately, the sense of “meal” is no longer the foundation for this memorial and the names we give it don’t help much either – communion, holy communion, Eucharist, sacrament, ordinance. In keeping with the overly religious names we give it, the observance has become more like a ceremony than a meal. And, as with all ceremonies of the religious type it is more restrictive than affirming.
It isn’t uncommon for humans to turn meal time joy into an exhibition of decorum but religion has taken that trend a step further. Participants must be members of the church and morally upright. The observance is so heavily draped in restriction that celebration is only a shadow if it is there at all.
For some the meal is a confessional. For others it is a type of mystical cleansing but there are at least three good reasons to rethink our approach. [Read more…]