the weblog of Alan Knox

The Lord’s Supper (one example)…

Posted by on Feb 12, 2007 in ordinances/sacraments | 8 comments

We officially gather with the church on Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. On most Sundays, people will hang around after the meeting until we are forced to lock the doors (We rent a meeting space, and our lease states that we have to leave the building at 12:30 p.m.). From there, some people return home, while others continue fellowshiping with one another over lunch – either at a home or a local restaurant. We meet again on Sunday evenings for prayer. Again, after the offical meeting Sunday evening, some people return home, while others gather in various homes and restaurants.

However, once a month (usually, this is not set in stone), we have a Lord’s Supper. We actually call it a Lord’s Supper/Fellowship. There is no set agenda for our Lord’s Supper/Fellowship, but I thought I would describe a “normal” meeting.

After we leave our Sunday morning meeting, we meet back together between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. in order to give people time to go home and pick up their food. We will meet back together either at someone’s house (or backyard), a local community center, a park, or other location. As people arrive, they begin setting up tables and chairs and possibly tents, if we are meeting outside. Also, the fellowship begins. One of the more difficult things to do is to gather people around the table, because there are so many conversations going on. While we plan to start at 1:30 p.m., we try to wait until everyone arrives before we actually start. If we know someone is planning to come, we will wait for them – we have waited up to an hour before.

Once everyone arrives, we partake in the elements of the Lord’s Supper. This is accompanied by Scripture reading, prayer, songs… it always differs depending on who is serving the Lord’s Supper. We partake of the bread and the cup together. Then, we continue with a full meal. (We have never had the Lord’s Supper with only the bread and cup.)

After everyone has finished eating, we begin a time of sharing and prayer. Again, what happens during this time changes from month to month. Usually, it includes singing, Scripture reading, prayer, testimonies, words of thanksgiving, etc. What happens during this time depends upon what God is doing in our group at that time. After this, we continue fellowshiping with games, conversations, etc. This usually lasts until 6:00 p.m. or later. (Our last Lord’s Supper/Fellowship ended at 8:00 p.m.) However, even this isn’t the end of fellowship for some. Sometimes people leave our Lord’s Supper/Fellowships only to meet again at someone’s home.

From the beginning to the end, people are continually coming and going. There is no set schedule. Everyone knows they are welcome to come and go as their schedules and families require. We also invite “visitors” to join us. We’ve always thought that our Lord’s Supper/Fellowships were the best way to get to know us.

Is this the only way to partake of the Lord’s Supper? No. Certainly not. But there are certain aspects that are always included in scriptural accounts of the Lord’s Supper: bread, cup, meal, fellowship. We have tried to include each of these as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

We are always willing to learn from others. How do you partake in the Lord’s Supper with the church?


8 Comments

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  1. 2-12-2007

    Hi Allen,
    I loved the Lord’s Supper yesterday. I am still warmed by it. I was explaining it to Jay this morning who comes over to read on Mondays. Hard to put into words the encouragement the Lord gives through the body of Christ. I appreciated your singing and reading of Lamentations 3:22-24 yesterday. One interesting factoid about that section is that the rest of the book is in the same meter of 5 or 6 six words per line using enclitics except 3:22-24. It is as if the writer can not be restrained by form, style, or convention when praising the Lord. Jeremiah has to stop the meter to adequately praise God and extol His faithful loyalty and mercies. Just was re-reading that section this morning in light of yesterday and it jumped out at me and thought I would share with you.

  2. 2-12-2007

    Alan -

    Thanks for sharing. This topic is also one of those things the Lord is growing me in and showing me that I don’t know what I thought I knew (LOL). What a nice picture you have painted! Again, t hanks for sharing …

    ~Heather

  3. 2-12-2007

    Alan,

    The Church that I gather with observes it in a much more formal way. As you do, we gather on Sunday morning for the formal meeting (Sunday School, Singing, Sermon). Then we observer the Lord’s Supper. The elements are on a table in front of the pulpit. The table (and elements) are completely covered with a nice white cloth. When it is time to observe the Supper, two people get up and very carefully and delicately removed the cloth. They fold the cloth and then sit down. Then the pastor usually reads a little from scripture.

    Four deacons get up and get the trays with the round communion wafers. There are two rows of pews, so we have a deacon at the end of each row. This makes it easier because we pass the tray down the pew and hand it to the deacon waiting. Then he hands it to he pew behind us, and so on until everyone who wants to partake has taken a wafer. The deacons then bring the trays back, allow the pastor to get a wafer, and they sit down. Then the pastor picks up a tray and allows the deacons to get a wafer. The pastor speaks again from scripture, prays over the wafer, and everyone eats their wafer.

    Next is the grape juice (we don’t use wine). A similar procedure takes place with the grape juice, same people get the trays and pass them out. The pastor reads and prays again then we all drink.

    After this has taken place we all stand up and sing a little hymn “these are the ties that bind” (I’m not sure of the name – or even if that is the right song). Anyways, then we are all dismissed and we all go home.

    I think I like your way better.

    Lew

  4. 2-12-2007

    My church only observes communion once per quarter, which I would like to see changed. It’s also a bit more formal, very much like Lew’s church. I think I would very much like to do it the way you described.

    A question: Does your gathering practice open communion?

  5. 2-12-2007

    Ed,

    Thanks for reminding us yesterday that the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is based on the Lamentations passage. It is amazing the way God works through different people in the body of Christ.

    Heather,

    I posted this in order to get people to think about the Lord’s Supper. I’d love to hear how God leads you and Brandon in this area.

    Lew,

    What you described is the way I’ve always seen it done before, until the last two and a half years. Our practice is probably not as “reverent” as what you described.

    -Alan

  6. 2-12-2007

    Drew,

    Thanks for the comment. We invite all baptized believers to share the elements with us. We invite anyone to share the meal with us and other parts of the afternoon with us.

    -Alan

  7. 3-24-2007

    The Lord’s Supper is a necessary part of our worship to God. God has specified what is to be partaken and when. In Acts 20:7 we find the disciples gathered on the first day of the week to break bread. Note first that Luke says the disciples came together on the first day of the week for this purpose, some say this verse does not specify every first day of the week; therefore we can choose the ones that suit us. If I ask you to meet with me on the first day of the week, what would you understand. Further, how many first day’s of the week are there? How many sabbaths were the Jews to observe? It has been noted that the phrase break bread was also used to refer to a common meal in the first century. This being true some believe this authorizes meals for nourishment to be used for worship. Is this the case as we see in Acts 20:7? Note Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthian brethren in 1Corinthians 11:33-34 “Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” 34 “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.” Please read the rest of the text in chapter 11 and you will see the reverent importance of the Lord’s Supper. 1Corinthians 11:27 “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” I would encourge all who read this, study this matter diligently with an open heart as we are admonished in 2Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  8. 3-25-2007

    Chuck,

    Thank you for the comment. I don’t think I remember your commenting before, so if not, welcome to my blog!

    I’m not sure that I understand what you are saying. I’ve covered most of the Scripture that you mention in a post called “The Lord’s Supper as a Meal?” I would suggest that taking the Lord’s Supper as a meal is not the same as “nourishment to be used for worship”.

    As to 2 Timothy 2:15, I agree that is a very important verse. I try to do everything (teach and live) according to the gospel – the “word of truth”. I pray that everyone here does that. If not, then studying the Scripture is not really that important, and we can do whatever our culture, traditions, or hearts desire. Thank you for that reminder.

    -Alan