Summary: Communion meditation focusing on Remembering the Lord Jesus.
In 1993 my wife and I began to serve a Church in southern NH. There were very few
people there and the only ones that seemed qualified to function as deacons were men
that had previously retired from the position. I think John was about 84 at the time, but I
asked him if he’d consider coming out of retirement and serve as one of the deacons, at
least until the church grew and others could take the position. John was a very special
person. He was personable, well liked, well versed in the scriptures and willing to serve.
If you got to know him at all and did a little investigating you’d find a fascinating life and
some pretty surprising accomplishments. He came from Sweden, but made a major
breakthrough for the United States military in WWII, and after the war founded and
developed a well known baby furniture company. I think it was 1998 when John turned
90. He was still driving around in His Mercedes, and still faithfully supporting the work of
the ministry at that small church. His daughter-in-law threw a birthday celebration to
mark the milestone and many friends and relatives were invited. As I looked around at
the very large gathering of guests at the party I observed three different classes of
guests. Some were there as acquaintances or friends of the family who knew who John
was but didn’t really know him personally. Their interaction with John was cordial and
courteous, but they came as a formality and didn’t stay long. Then there were many
who would consider John a friend and came to honor John, but I noticed that they spent
most of their time enjoying the food and interacting with one another. They stayed longer
than the acquaintances, but they too began to leave. Finally there was John’s family and
those who knew him well. They spent time talking with John, reminiscing about his life,
sharing special memories, and simply enjoying being there and spending the time with
him. They stayed late and some who had traveled distances shed a tear or too as they
We gather together today for a special occasion. It’s not a 90th birthday party, but it is
certainly in no way inferior to such an event. The event we commemorate this morning
has been observed far more than any other celebration on our calendar. In fact all over
this planet today there are groups of people who call themselves Christians who will
take a piece of bread and a cup of juice or wine and as they eat and drink they will
remember the Lord Jesus. That is what HE intended. Though the elements are
inextricably linked with His suffering and death, as He ate that last supper with His
disciples He was still very much alive, and His instruction was, “do this in remembrance
of ME”. Our gathering at the Lord’s Table is not just a ritual or formality, not just an
occasion for fellowship with other believers, nor is it an abbreviated good Friday service,
but rather it is intended to move us to focus our attention, to engage our senses, and to
remember the Lord Jesus. It is about Him.
It is the custom in this church fellowship to celebrate the Lords Table on the first
Sunday of each month. How do you view this practice? Way down deep in the most
private thoughts that you think, how do you honestly feel about this monthly sacrament?
I suspect that there may well be three classes of people at this celebration, three
classes very much like those at Johns birthday party.
1. First I suspect that may be some who see the Lord’s Table as little more than a
formality. You may know some stories about Jesus, you believe He was a good person,
you believe in God, you embrace some of the ideologies of Christianity, and you go
through the motions of eating the bread and drinking the cup, but you see it as just a
religious ritual, and you wish it didn’t take quite so long. You’re like the acquaintance at
John’s party. You’ve never really developed a relationship with the Lord Jesus. I think
it’s possible that someone can grow up in a Christian home, learn how Christians talk
and act and think, go to church, sing the songs and go through all the motions, and yet
never really possess a relationship with Christ.
Jesus predicted as much. IN Matthew 13:24-30...
Think about Judas. He was considered by everyone to be one of Jesus disciples. He
even seems to be included in those who had evangelistic successes, but all the while he
was treasurer for Jesus and the disciples, he was embezzeling. It is questionable that
he was even at the last supper, and we know the end of his story. He might have looked