Summary: A complete Lord’s Supper service, including music.
Note: The pastors presented the message as a team.
[Psalm 23 countdown video]
This morning’s worship service is going to be a bit different than what most of us are used to. Although we normally begin our time with singing to help us focus our attention on God and prepare our hearts to hear His Word, we’re going to begin with a couple of Scripture passages that will set the stage for our observance of the Lord’s Supper during the last part of our worship service.
So we’re going to dismiss our children to Children’s Church right now and we’ll have them come back and join us later as we sing and take the elements.
In the book of Revelation, toward the end of the letter to the church at Laodicea, Jesus spoke these familiar words:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20 (NIV)
Christians have often used these words in sharing their faith with others as an invitation to commit their lives to Jesus and place their trust in Him. And while it is certainly a very good thing to share the gospel and invite people to enter into a relationship with Jesus, we need to consider the context in which these words were spoken by Jesus. These words are not spoken to unbelievers, but to those who were already followers of Jesus there in the church in Laodicea. They are not an invitation to make a commitment to follow Jesus, but rather an invitation for those believers to enter into intimate worship with Him.
Jesus offers us that same invitation this morning. He wants us to enter into an intimate worship experience with Him, one that is centered around the table where we will together share a symbolic meal that reminds us of our past, present and future life in Jesus. And just as we would do if we desired to engage in an enjoyable meal with our family or friends, we want to make sure that this worship experience allows for a leisurely pace where we have adequate time to prepare our hearts, develop our appetite, and linger at the table together.
In order to help us do that, Dana and I are going to focus on a passage that we don’t commonly use as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, but one that clearly makes reference to that observance and how we are to prepare to partake of the elements together this morning.
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.