Summary: The Lord's Supper is a powerful, practical reminder of the Lord, the Mission, and the People of God.
A church had an unusual ritual every Sunday morning. Before the church sang the Doxology, they would stand up, everyone turned to the right facing a blank white wall, and they sang. Every Sunday without fail they did this. A newcomer to the church was confused by this and asked, "Why do you do this?"
No one knew. The only answer they could come up with was, "We've always done it this way." But that answer did not satisfy the newcomer. Other people were asked the same question. Finally an elderly man who had gone to church longer than anyone else remembered the reason.
It seems that at one time they didn't have hymnals and the words to this song were painted on the large white wall. Everyone stood, turned to the right facing the wall and sang. Over the years the words faded and the wall was repainted numerous times yet no one remembered the significance for standing and turning toward the wall.
Many times we end up doing things for the wrong reasons because no one ever stopped to ask why. We develop habits and traditions sometimes based on nothing more than false information.
The Lord's Supper is a Time of Repetition with Remembrance 1 Corinthians 11.23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
* We Remember the Lord -- "This do in remembrance of me."
* We Remember our Mission -- the WHY -- For YOU and the Lord's Return
* We Remember The Body (One Another) -- They Devoted themselves -- 1 Corinthians 11.28-31
28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
A Christian leader from around 150 AD named Justin Martyr wrote that...
"On Sunday a meeting is held of all who live in the cities and villages... (and at the close of the meeting they focused on the) bread and wine and thanks for them according to his ability, and the congregation answers, "Amen." Then the consecrated elements are distributed to each one and partaken of, and are carried by the deacons to the houses of the absent."
The great classical composer Joseph Hayden, was criticized because his church music was too cheerful.
He replied: "I cannot help it. I give forth what is in me. When I think of the Divine Being, my heart is so full of joy that the notes fly off as from a spindle. And as I have a cheerful heart, He will pardon me if I serve Him cheerfully."
A man named Jack Hinton was on a short term mission trip at a leper colony on the island of Tobago. One of his duties was to lead singing during the worship times.
One Sunday, there was time for one more song, so he asked if anyone had a request. A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around.
He said "It was the most hideous face I had ever seen. The woman's nose and ears were entirely gone. The disease had destroyed her lips as well. She lifted a fingerless hand in the air and asked, 'Can we sing 'Count Your Many Blessing'"
Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service.
He was followed by another team member who said,
"Jack, I guess you'll never be able to sing that song again."
"Yes I will," he replied, "but I'll never sing the same way."