Summary: A sermon on the Lord's Supper or Communion (Material adapted from Daniel Overdorf's book, Rediscovering Community, chapter 10 Sacramentally Participating, pg. 255- 265)
Have children come up front and do children’s minute with them:
Objects needed: A piece of string, a pad of Post-It Notes, an electronic pocket calendar (Kindle), a throw away communion cup and a piece of communion bread
Do you ever have trouble remembering things? Of course you do. Children haven't changed much since I was your age. I can remember when I was a boy and my mother would ask me, "Did you clean up your room?" I would usually answer, "I forgot." Or she might ask me, "Did you take out the trash like I told you to?" "I forgot" was my usual reply. I still have trouble remembering now that I am grown. I am always forgetting something that I was supposed to do.
People have many ways to help them to remember things. One of the oldest memory tricks is a simple piece of string. Sometimes I tie a string around my wrist and every time I look at the string, I remember that I was supposed to...hmm, I forgot what it was I was supposed to remember. That's why someone invented post-it notes. With post-it notes, you can write down what it is you need to remember. The only trouble with post-it notes is that I sometimes forget to look at the notes! Now, here is a really hi-tech way to help you remember things. It is an electronic pocket scheduler. You can put in what you are supposed to remember and set an alarm. When it is time for you to do it, the alarm goes off and you can read on the display what it is you are supposed to do. I can't use the pocket scheduler right now because the battery is dead and I keep forgetting to charge it.
Being forgetful isn't new. It has been around since just about the beginning of time. The night Jesus was betrayed, he was eating with his disciples. He knew that he would soon return to his Father in heaven. He wanted to make sure that his disciples would remember him after he was gone, so he did something that would help them to remember. What did Jesus do to help us remember? Hold up a communion cup and piece of bread. It has been almost 2000 years since that night and we still use that same way to remember Jesus.
One time a little boy came to church and he was upset because he didn’t get to eat the bread and drink the juice like his mother. He said that he wanted a snack but his mom wouldn’t let him have the bread or the juice. When do we get to take the Lord’s Supper? Is the Lord’s Supper just a snack? Let us pray (Adapted from Sermons4Kids at: http://www.sermons4kids.com/lest_we_forget.html)
Baptism- a one time event- marks the believer’s entrance into the new covenant with Christ and His church. The Lord’s Supper- an ongoing practice- enables Christians continuing fellowship in covenant with Christ and His church.
The early church “devoted themselves ... to the breaking of bread.” Many times the early Christians observed the Lord’s Supper in conjunction with a fellowship meal, a love feast. Now the focal part of that meal was the Lord’s Supper, remembering Jesus body and blood. There were some abuses to this so Paul discouraged the Corinthians Christians from having a love feast along with the Lord’s Supper. This is followed today. However, for the early Christians they gathered in celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week and shared in the Lord’s Supper. This was important to them and should be to us.
Thesis: The Lord’s Supper is an act of...
An Act of Remembrance
Many people today are looking for an experience. Today's generation is much more used to multi-sensory "experiences." Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are experiences that engaged the senses. Baptism involves the whole person, body and soul. The Lord’s Supper invites us to hold and taste bread, broken from a loaf, and to look upon and drink from a cup of juice.
As we experience this, we must remember what this all means. “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, NIV.
This phrase “an unworthy manner” is further defined in the phrase, “without recognizing the body of the Lord.” This can be taken in two ways:
1. The body of the Lord refers to the physical body of Christ that was crucified. The immediate context points toward this interpretation; in the previous paragraph, Paul recounted Christ’s words in the upper room where he called followers to partake in remembrance of his broken body and shed blood. This means that we are not recognizing the sacrifice of Christ through the bread and juice. We can almost feel Paul’s glare toward the church in Corinth for treating the Lord’s Supper with a flippant attitude. The memory of the cross demands reverence.