Summary: A sermon investigating the purpose of the Lord’s Supper.
"What’s for supper?" A question that is heard millions of times each day around our world. Most people have favorite foods. I pastored people who thought a meal was not a meal without meat and potatoes. Others who were never satisfied with a supper that did not include rice. Some of my Southern friends feel cheated to sit down to a meal lacking biscuits. Others have to have bread or rolls. In some countries beans would be the most important part of the meal. For some, a meal without a cup of tea or coffee is a meal that is not complete. What do you expect in a meal?
For two centuries, every day and every hour, someplace in our world Christians are eating the Lord’s Supper. The ingredients of this meal stay the same. Bread and wine. Now the bread may be made with wheat, other grains, or rice flour and the wine may be fermented and non-fermented… But it is always the same. Bread and wine.
At the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples a full Passover meal was eaten. In the early church the Lord’s Supper of bread and wine was often a part of a church pot-luck-dinner. In fact the major reason First
Corinthians 11 addressed the Lord’s Supper was because the celebration meal had turned into a feast for the "haves" and a time when the "have nots" left the supper hungry. A time when some of the participants drank too much of the wine and became drunk. It had become a time of division instead of a unifying celebration. Some churches still practice a "love feast," but for most, the menu is only bread and wine.
Why? Because most churches no longer meet in homes, but in church buildings. Because of the logistics of feeding large church crowds. Because of time restraints. Because the only two ingredients that Jesus
commanded us to eat at this supper were bread and wine. They have for all time been the centerpiece of the meal.
What about the Lord’s Supper? Eucharist? Communion? What does it symbolize for you? Let us think about some meaningful things the supper represents for the church today.
I. AS WE EAT, WE CONCENTRATE ON JESUS CHRIST WHO WAS CRUCIFED AND DIED TO PROVIDE OUR SALVATION.
Some Americans are unhappy that we have soldiers, sailors, airmen…who are willing to give their lives in Iraq to provide freedom from the terrors that Saddam Hussein has inflicted upon his country for decades. Over a hundred military personnel have already given the ultimate sacrifice. They are heroes. In coming years they will be remembered by memorials, poetry, stories… They died to make a part of our world free. Jesus died to free all.
Jesus said, "12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command."(John 15) When we were sinners, Jesus died for us. We partake in remembrance of him. Communion is his memorial celebration—A sacrament. It illustrates grace.
Are we moved by Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice? Think about it.
II. AS WE EAT, WE CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS AND HIS PRESENCE IN US THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT.