Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chapter 3 : Reimagining the Lords Supper

Simple and short, yet profoundly altering.

Most of us, if we have grown up in the church, know of the Lords supper (or communion, Eucharist, breaking of bread, etc.) as a religious ceremony or ritual done during a church service. It is usually practiced by taking a small amount of bread or a wafer and a shot glass of grape juice and ingesting them. Nowadays it is often accompanied by gentle music and we are supposed to think about our sins and what Jesus did on the cross. Is this practice built on biblical grounds?

Viola says no. And he is not alone in that assertion. In the New Testament this practice was a part in a full meal. IT was anything but a religious ceremony. It also was not a time of mourning and focusing on our short comings. It was a celebration of the victory Jesus accomplished on the cross.

The passover meal is its predecessor. In the passover meal Jews gathered together as the People of God to remember how God had delivered them from the tyranny and enslavement in Egypt.

This meal is a covenant. The covenant that God made with us, His people through Jesus' death upon the cross. Our covenant to share in the cup of suffering, in loving service to one another each and everyday. And we remember the Lords promise to not leave us behind, but to return one day. And in that sense we eat the meal in anticipation of the great wedding banquet we shall partake in when our Lord returns.

Regularly breaking bread together from my perspective is the act of coming together as a new creation, not only personally but as a whole. We are a new family with God as our father, and gathering together for this meal is just what families do, we eat together. Take sunday afternoon dinners or thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays as an example.

Come let us eat together.

next chapter - Reimagining the gathering place

Peace be with you, brandon


  1. Well said. It is odd to imagine a sacrament that involves weeping over a meal. You know just blubbering over your pizza or rice bowl. I agree that communion should be a celebration feast, because the kingdom of God is hear! However it is important to make a prayer of invocation that transforms the pizza and rice bowls into the body and blood of JC. Unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood...

  2. aha now you lost me. Invocation? transform the pizza? IM not so sure that's important. I imagine that idea stems from the catholic church, eh? oh gosh i dont want to get into theological debate, but i just dont see that viewpoint as valid according to the scriptures.

    I'll present Violas perpective. He says, "Catholics have made the supper literal and sacrificial. every time they take the Eucharist, they believe that Jesus' sacrifice is being re-presented for our sins. Protestants have reacted to this view by making the Supper merely symbolic and commemorative.
    But the Lords supper is neither literal nor an empty ritual. the Lords supper is a spiritual reality. Through the supper, the Holy Spirit reveals the living Christ to our hearts anew and afresh. By it we reaffirm our faith in Jesus and our membership to His body. Through the Supper, we sup with Christ and His people."

    So thats his perspective. Im not going to lay down my life for any of the perspectives, but i would lean toward this one if i had to choose.

  3. But Brandon, what about the teaching that no one could accept. We must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Many stopped following because of this specific point.