“Islands in the stream – that is what we are – no one in between…” Actually, she and Kenny Rogers may owe us an apology. OK… not my point. Focus Al, focus!
What are we doing when we come to the Lord’s Table? Are we all Dolly and Kenny types, isolated individuals looking for that one-on-one connection with Jesus? I think that is the prevalent in the Church today. This is the place where I meet Jesus. I look into my heart see if I am right(eous) and then I come to the table.
The need of the hour is communion reformation. As 1 Cor 10:17 says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” Since there is one loaf on the table we are one body. We do not come to the table individually we come together.
Alexander Schmemann said that the Church ought to be a society…
“Yet the experience of worship has long ago ceased to be that of a corporate liturgical act. It is an aggregation of individuals coming to church, attending worship in order to satisfy individually their individual religious needs, not in order to constitute and to fulfill the Church. The best proof of this is the complete disintegration of communion as a corporate act. “
So the question is how do we recapture this “corporate act” in our communion at The Table? Here are three, nay four, things we ought to do:
The Lord’s Supper is an every week event. There is much less introspection when the table is viewed as means of grace given to the church (“This is my body GIVEN for you”) for the strengthening of the body as a whole.
- As opposed to the Roman Church we wait on one another to eat and drink. Even if you come forward to receive the elements the body should eat and drink as one.Keep short accounts in sin.
- Have a time of confession at the beginning of the service and remind the church of their forgiveness prior to taking the bread and wine.
- Study what it is to discern the body… Is it an intellectual exercise where we place the bread and wine (and the Savior for that matter) into easily, forgive me, digestible categories? Or is it a looking left, right, front and back; looking at my neighbor and loving them by grace through Christ? I think it is the latter.
There are others that may come up in the meta… I want to talk about children and the table next…