Preparing for the Lord’s Supper - Part 1
It is sometimes said, ‘the way we spend our Saturday evening will affect the way we honor the Lord the following day’. Perhaps we might further add, the way we spend our week will affect the way we honor the Lord on a Sunday morning. It is of vital importance that when we attend the Lord’s Supper we do so with our hearts fully prepared to worship Him, hearts that have been preparing throughout the week. Without this we risk ‘not discerning (or distinguishing) the Lord’s body’, a serious matter indeed. This subject is taught in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 28 and will be discussed later.
Before we consider how we might best prepare for the Lord’s Supper, we should remind ourselves what the purpose of the gathering is. Believers gather to remember Him, 1 Cor. 11:24-25 and proclaim His death for us until we meet Him in the air, 1 Cor. 11:26. This meeting is called the Lord’s Supper, 1 Cor. 11:20, as it draws attention to the authority of the One whom we come worship and remember; it is His supper. It is also called the Breaking of Bread, Acts 2:42; 20:7, which describes the simplicity of what we do. We break the bread (a symbol of His body given for us), we drink the cup (a symbol of His blood shed for us) and we do so together (a symbol of the fellowship we share with Him and each other). In the Gospels you have its institution, Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20, in Acts its practice, Acts 2:42; 2:7, and in the Epistles, its doctrine, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-24.
Why then is this gathering so important? Firstly, to remember Hi in this way is an act of obedience; He has asked us to do this, Luke 22:19. Secondly, the book of Acts indicates that this gathering had real prominence in believers’ lives and it should be no different for us. For example, it was the first thing the believers did every week, Acts 20:7, and the apostle Paul even waited seven day in order to attend the Lord’s Supper at Troas, Acts 20:6. Finally, the Lord’s Supper is a meeting of reverence or worship and provides an opportunity and a responsibility (Heb. 13:15) to offer our appreciation of Him. If we have nothing to offer, it suggests we do not have much appreciation of Christ, which will affect our daily Christian living.
Given its importance, there are three ways in which we should prepare for the Lord’s Supper. Prepare to be present, prepare to participate and prepare to partake of the emblems. In the next installment we will explore these three important aspects of preparation.
By: Pastor David Jones
Excerpts from D.R.