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Feasting Together with the Lord

Posted by on Jan 13, 2011 in blog links, ordinances/sacraments | 6 comments

Feasting Together with the Lord

In his continuing series on all things related to “house church,” Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” recently wrote a post called “House Church – The Lord’s Supper Feast.”

First, Eric explains how they eat a meal together during their normal meeting time – everytime they meet together. The meal is an essential part of their gathering, just as essential as singing, praying, and teaching.

Next, he explains that they take the bread and cup as part of the meal, not separately. Finally, he gives us several reasons that he likes eating the Lord’s Supper as a meal:

  1. It follows the biblical model.
  2. It’s a full meal. Meals not only taste good, but they also allow for much wonderful conversation.
  3. The full meal keeps the continuity with the Passover meal (looking backward) and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (looking forward).
  4. The full meal is a real celebration instead of a solemn ceremony.
  5. The one loaf and one cup (pitcher for now) help us remember that we are united in Christ. This spurs and encourages the unity of the body.
  6. Since the meal takes place right in the same spot as the rest of the gathering, there is no artificial dividing line between the Lord’s Supper and the remainder of the fellowship.
  7. The church in Troas gathered together for the purpose of breaking bread. We do the same.

Have you ever eaten the Lord’s Supper as a meal? What was your reaction?


6 Comments

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  1. 1-13-2011

    Alan,

    We’ve enjoyed this so much so far. My hope is that many churches, regardless of specific format, will begin celebrating this ordinance as a full meal. What a blessing it is!

  2. 1-13-2011

    Arthur, my wife, and I, all partook of the bread and the cup, IN the meal…although Arthur only pecked at some french fries…just last night.

    Not only is it biblical. But, its biblical.

  3. 1-13-2011

    Alan, I recommend Hal Taussig’s In the Beginning was the Meal and Dennis Smith’s From Symposium to Eucharist. They represent the emerging consensus among NT scholars that the Lord’s Supper was the “church service” and that, as a meal-experience in the tradition of the δειπνον-συμποσιον, it makes sense of early Christian practices such as songs, prayers, and speeches, all of which were standard elements in pagan symposia. That is, all of the elements we now associate with a church service originally took place in a meal setting, with “worshipers” reclining around a table.

  4. 1-13-2011

    DS, I just reviewed a pretty good book about the same topics. It is pretty convincing. The review can be found here http://www.deliverdetroit.com/2011/01/book-review-come-to-table-by-john-mark.html. I am also finishing up Making a Meal of It by Ben Witherington III. So far, same points being made.

    It is so interesting how we got from there….and are now here…

  5. 1-13-2011

    Eric,

    Great! We have also.

    James,

    It just seems wrong to eat French Fries with Jesus. :)

    Are you going to write about Making a Meal of It? I read that book a couple of years ago.

    DS,

    I’m not familiar with those books, but I’m familiar with the δειπνον-συμποσιον that you mentioned. I agree that it helps us understand how the early church met. In fact, I talked about that a little last week when I taught from James 2.

    -Alan

  6. 1-13-2011

    Alan, I plan on writing a conglomeration of posts. Matter of fact, a series of posts. It’s been a ‘hot’ topic in our assembly for a short while now, and I have a burden to see the truth of the scripture lived out.