The Lord’s Table
There are only a few “formal” rituals in a church like ours.
We don’t have a published prayer book. We don’t follow a liturgy, do daily readings, have priests in robes, or burn incense or candles. We don’t follow the church calendar (except for Christmas and Easter) or have an altar piece. Things are rather simple here.
Taking our cue from the New Testament itself, we adhere to just two prescribed ordinances: baptism and communion (or as we would more commonly say, the Lord’s Table.)
As we gather this Sunday for worship, we will be focusing entirely on that special meal that Jesus inaugurated in the Upper Room for his church to practice until he returns.
The Lord’s Table is beautiful in its simplicity and yet so profound in its meaning. On its face, we eat a small piece of bread and we drink from the “fruit of the vine” (for us, grape juice) to remember the incredible act of sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. The bread is his body. The juice, his blood.
This Jesus-given ritual of eating and drinking re-centres us as we live our lives in a world that is intent on distracting us from what he did for us.
But if we participate in the ritual without thought, if we do it out of obligation or routine, it becomes something entirely unhelpful and even damaging.
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself,” wrote the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:29. We must approach this ordinance of Christ intentionally and sober-mindedly.
Our time in the Word is in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 where Paul deals with the Lord’s Table gone bad. Along the way, he laid out the beauty and simplicity of what the Table is, what it should mean to them and to us today.
We will respond to the message at the Lord’s Table, walking up to the front to receive the bread and cup.
My hope is that the Holy Spirit will meet with us and stir us as we remember Jesus’ death.
The Lord's Table
Pastor Todd Dugard
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
January 26, 2020
At the Lord’s Table, Jesus is telling me to…
• Love others
…because I tend to be self-centred (11:17-22, 33-34)
• Be thankful
…because I tend to be ungrateful (11:23-24a)
• Find forgiveness
…because I tend to sin (11:24b, 25b, 27-32)
• Remember him
…because I tend to forget (11:24c, 25c)
• Keep covenant
…because I tend to drift (11:25a)
• Hope in him
…because I tend to despair (11:26)