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Never give up… Sharing the Lord’s Supper

(“Never Give Up” is a series of posts on what we do together in a Sunday service. You can find all topics here.)

Who do you eat meals with? Chances are, it’s people that you’re close to – your family and friends. Sharing a meal can be a wonderful expression of unity, and deepening of relationships.

The same is true of the Lord’s Supper. (Call it communion, Eucharist, bread and wine… whatever you like!) As a church family, we come together and share a meal with God.

Of course, it is symbolic. No one thinks that a square of bread or mouthful of wine means you can skip dinner. But it’s significant. As Jesus’ death is visualised in front of us (the broken bread/body, the poured-out wine/blood), we remember again what Jesus has done for us. He feeds and strengthens our faith, as we renew our trust in his enacted promises. And we do it together as family – children, eating at the table of our Lord.

It’s often been said, there are four ‘directions’ to look during the Lord’s Supper:

Look back. Jesus said “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). So we look back to the cross and remember that Jesus loved us enough to give his body for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Look up. Jesus said “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgivenss of sins” (Matthew 26:28). So we look up to heaven and see Jesus sat by the Father, our guarantee of forgiveness. “If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 John 2:1)

Look forward. Jesus said “I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in thekingdom ofGod” (Luke 22:16). So we look forward to his return, when we will feast with Jesus in the new creation. “On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.” (Isaiah 25:6)

Look around. Jesus said “Drink from it, all of you” (Matthew 26:27). So we look around at his family as we share together. There is a warning here: “anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord [the church] eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:29). But there is also tremendous joy, as we share together in table fellowship with brothers and sisters! “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)