Partaking of the Lord’s Supper is not a meaningless routine ritual. We must partake thoughtfully, and with our minds engaged. Communion should be one of the richest and most meaningful experiences of our week.
1. We remember Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
“Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24*). Lest we think we deserve God’s favor, lest we forget what Christ did for us, we are regularly reminded of the price paid for our salvation. The cross of Christ is not an insignificant fact from the storeroom of history. We are remembering and savoring the meaning of the most pivotal event in human history.
2. We participate in the benefits of his blood shed for us.
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16). In the Lord’s Supper, Christ shares the meal with us, and we have fellowship with him because we share the new life his death achieved.
3. We proclaim our faith in the saving benefit of our Lord’s death and in his coming again.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Making it a priority to gather around the Lord’s table each Lord’s Day declares to all that we believe Christ died for our sins and that he is coming again.
4. We affirm our unity and solidarity with fellow believers in the body of Christ.
We “come together” (1 Corinthians 11:20). “We all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17). Meals can bring people into closer relationships. Partaking of the Lord’s Supper reminds us we belong to Christ and we belong to one another as fellow believers in Christ’s worldwide community.
5. We give thanks for Christ being our substitute sacrifice.
Communion is not a repeat of his sacrifice. Christ was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28). The offering that occurs in Communion is our offering of thanks. We express our appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice.
6. We examine ourselves so we can purify our motives and direct our thoughts to meaningfully commune with our Lord.
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:27, 28).
*All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
H. Lynn Gardner’s Web site is www.lynngardner.info.