THE COMMUNION TALK

Without doubt it was one of the most meaningful communion talks I have ever heard. The speaker wasn't standing up front, but sitting in a pew behind me. The message wasn't delivered into a microphone, but in a whisper. This talk didn't come from the presider at the Table, but from a father in conversation with his young daughter. "What is this?" little Rebecca asked, as her father received the … [Read more...]

LITURGICAL WORSHIP

I once described my home congregation here in Houston, Texas as "tilted toward the liturgical," and a reader asked what that meant. * * * I really wasn't trying to be fancy. Liturgical, in this context, just means using words that have been thought through and written out in advance, rather than made up on the spur of the moment. Now a generation removed from the hang-loose 60's and spontaneous … [Read more...]

LEAVENED COMMUNION BREAD

A gracEmail subscriber asks: "I'm so accustomed to unleavened bread as the 'correct' element of the Lord's Supper. Can you explain the introduction of leavened bread at the communion table?" * * * When God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, he ordained the Passover meal as an annual reminder of the event. The short notice given for their exit did not allow time for bread to rise, so … [Read more...]

THE LORD’S SUPPER — ORDER

An Advent Christian brother asks, "Is the 'form' or 'order' of the Lord's Supper -- Bread first, then the Wine, or Bread and Wine together -- important because of the order in the Gospels and in I Corinthians, or is it important for some other reason?" * * * Matthew, Mark and Paul (by revelation) all report that Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took and blessed and gave his disciples bread … [Read more...]

THE LORD’S SUPPER — FREQUENCYS

A Church of Christ brother inquires, "I was taught to partake of the Lord's Supper only on Sundays, and only in the morning service, unless I was absent that morning. Are there biblical reasons not to partake of Communion on any day other than Sunday, or limiting it to Sunday morning?" * * * Although Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper on Thursday night before Easter, some today insist that … [Read more...]

CHRIST’S PRESENCE IN COMMUNION

"Is the Lord present when we participate in the Communion?" someone asks. "If so, is he 'really' present or only symbolically? Why do many churches not call the bread and wine what Jesus and Paul called them, namely, the body and blood of Christ?" * * * Can't we leave some room here for sheer mystery? Why do we think we have to be able to explain everything? I fear that many of us have focused … [Read more...]

THE LORD’S SUPPER IN THREE TENSES

An overseas Advent Christian minister asks, "Is the Lord's Supper a celebration only of the past event of 'the body which was given' and the 'blood of the new covenant?' Or does it also have present and future meaning?" * * * One way to answer this (though certainly not the only way) is to reflect on Paul's warning that we rightly discern the Lord's body (1 Cor. 11:29). I think of the Lord's … [Read more...]