This past weekend we studied the passage in Mark that we see Jesus institute the Lord’s Supper. Here is the account - “while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take it; this is My body.' And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, 'This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many'” (Mark 14:22-24). In these amazing words that Jesus declared, He gave us one of the most important practices we do together as a church. In order to get the most out of this important ordinance, let me suggest a few things to consider when you come to the table.
So how do we come to the Table?
- Come in absolute dependence: Communion is a constant reminder of how much we need Jesus. He is our only hope! We come to the table rehearsing the Gospel – that I am in desperate need of Jesus on a daily basis. I am in need of forgiveness. He is my righteousness. He is my all in all. So come to the Table in humility and dependence!
- Come to be nourished by Jesus: As we come to the Table, rehearsing the Gospel, expect the Lord to nourish your soul through His very special presence at the table through the Holy Spirit. God works through this sacrament as we look in faith to Him. He strengthens, empowers and nourishes us for our faith journey with Him.
- Come to let God affirm His love for you: When we come to the table, we are reminded in a very tangible way of the love that Jesus has for us. “God demonstrates His own love towards us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Every time we come to the table it is a practical demonstration to our souls that God loves us enough to give His own Son's life for us! If God showed that kind of love to save us, we can trust He will continue to work in our lives today. He loves us – the Table tangibly reminds us of that amazing love that the Lord has for us His children.
- Come in unity with others: There is one thing that unifies us as a church. It is that we have the same Father, and communion is a reminder of that which connects us together. When Paul was instructing the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 11, he called them out for the divisions that were among them and called the to examine themselves properly before coming to the table. How could we who have been so utterly and completely forgiven by Jesus when we did nothing to deserve it, hold a grudge or have an unforgiving heart to others in the body? That is inconsistent with what we are celebrating at the Table. Therefore, if needed, go make things right, forgive as you have been forgiven before you come and partake.
- Come with proper self examination: When we consider the cost that Jesus paid for our sin, the Lord’s Table gives us a chance to search our hearts. Is there sin that you have been embracing? Are there idols that you have been putting above Jesus? Are you walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel? If not, don’t beat your self up or walk in condemnation, turn to Jesus and away from your sin (repentance) and let the Table remind you of your complete and utter forgiveness in Christ.
- Come regularly: The Lord’s Supper is such a special gift given to us by Jesus to experience His presence, we don’t want to miss out! Currently at MVC we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every 3-4 weeks. This is another reason to prioritize our corporate meetings as to not miss out on this important ordinance given to us by Jesus Himself!