Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Lord's Supper

I’ve been doing a lot of studying and reading about the Lord’s Supper (for a sermon I will be preaching on Sunday). I told Tracy, “The more I learn about it, the less I know FOR SURE.” Some of the things I have been taught in the Restoration Movement tradition have very little scriptural basis. Some of our dogmatic convictions simply cannot be proven biblically. So I am re-thinking my theology of the Lord’s Supper. Do I still believe in it and think it’s important? You betcha! Now more than ever.
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

The Eucharist

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.


k2 said...

thanks for this this post soren. when i was called to lead the Lord's supper a few years ago i wanted to do something different that what had normally been done; read 1 cor 11, and say a prayer, then pass the bread, say another prayer, then pass the trays with juice in them.

i studied up on it. what was its origins ... what was it about. i got into exodus, and looked at the comparison of Jesus to the lambs that were slain and what their blood did for moses and the hebrews.

i then read from exodus that sunday, and shared what i had learned. what a thought ... sharing at the table what we have learned, or should i say "remembered."

thanks for doing what you are doing.

Willis said...

“The more I learn about it, the less I know FOR SURE.”

I totally get that. Me too. I got to have a copy of that sermon!

john dobbs said...

Great post, Mike. We always need to re-think these things.