Our church celebrated the Lord’s Supper this past Sunday and it was an increcibly meaningful service for me. As it was my first time to lead in a Lord’s Supper service somehow the depth of the observance was imparted to me in a way I have not experienced before.
I spoke briefly about the ways in which our observance of Communion (Lord’s Supper) creates community. As we partake of the elements and remember Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross and reflect on its bearing on our own lives we are naturally drawn into deeper community with our Savior. As we are drawn into deeper community with our Savior we are simultaneously drawn into community with those whom He is in community with. Therefore we are joined in solidarity with those in need, with the lost, truly, with the world. And as we as a church family partake of the Lord’s Supper, the bonds between us are formed and strengthened and we are drawn even deeper into community with one another.
I meditated over, prayed over, and painstakingly prepared those thoughts and words all week long. I believed them and was looking forward to living them out Sunday morning; but, as the deacons served the bread and returned to the front of the sanctuary (we may meet in a High School Auditorium but at least for those few hours every Sunday it is certainly a sanctuary) and I took their trays from them and began to serve each of them the elements of the Lord’s Supper, the truth of my words were imparted with new depth in power and seared into my life.
As I looked down the row of these deacons whom I have come to respect and love and lean on so heavily, I immediately was faced with my own ineptitude, my own youth, my own unworthiness to serve these men. Immediately the thought came that if I am unworthy to serve even these deacons, how much infinitely more unworthy am I to reap the rewards of Jesus sacrifice; and yet, he gives it freely.
Last week I seemed to have numerous conversations about the ugly side of churches and about churches and church people hurting each other and treating each other harshly. I was struggling Sunday morning with why we in the church are so cruel so often. I was hurting for those who are being so hurt by those who are supposed to so caring and loving.
But, in this moment on Sunday morning as I stood ready to serve the elements of the Lord Supper to these deacons and as my church family sat together contemplating Jesus sacrifice for us the power of the hope and love that exists in our churches through Christ was made very real to me. And so, with my head bowed I served these men, whom had just served our family, all of whom were contemplating their Lord who has served us all and is calling us to go serve our world.
I wrote this in my talk Sunday morning but it wasn’t made fully real to me until minutes after I spoke it, “The challenge for the believer is not that we grasp the full potential of its meaning but that we open ourselves to the full extent of its power to transform us and create intimacy among the worshiper and those in need, with other believers, and with our Lord whom we give our worship and devotion.”
The observance of Communion links our present relationship with Christ with the past and future presence of Jesus. Eternity touches time and we are the beneficiaries of a rare moment of fellowship.
In this moment of fellowship we find our motivation to go out and truly serve our God by serving each other and our world. May we open ourselves up to be transformed by such fellowship. May we drink in such moments as people on mission with one another for our world. May we learn what it is to truly serve.