John Mark Hicks, in his book Come to the Table, says that we need to revision the Supper as a “table” rather than an “altar.” The altar epitomizes the atoning work of God in forgiving sin, the table epitomizes the experience of communion.
Eugene Peterson has a great section on the Eucharist in Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. “Eat the bread and drink the cup, Jesus’ body and blood. Receive the Eucharist. This is what Jesus told us to do. And this is what Christians have done ever since. We receive Christ crucified. We remember Jesus’ death and receive his broken body and poured-out blood for the remission of our sins. We hold out our open hands and receive what God does for us in Jesus. We don’t take what we are given and then go off and do whatever we will with it; we sit at the Table and eat and drink.” Wow.
He cites this poem by Reginald Heber
Bread of the world in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul in mercy shed,
By whom the words of life were spoken,
And in whose death our sins are dead;
Look on the heart by sorrow broken
Look on the tears by sinners shed;
And be Thy feast to us the token
That by Thy grace our souls are fed.