Why Eat the Lord's Supper Weekly?
Why Eat the Lord's Supper Weekly?
In Acts 20:7, the disciples gathered on the first day of the week to break bread; that is, to take the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 10:14-22; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23). This supper is a memorial, not a meal. The point is not to fill the body, but feed the soul. The disciples participated in this memorial weekly (cf. Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:20; 16:1-4). Why? Why would God have us go through this exceedingly simple ritual each week? Just to prove how good we are at keeping a pattern? Surely not.
We participate in the Supper every week because it is a proclamation of and participation in the gospel. We need the gospel infused in our hearts, minds, and lives over and over and over again just to survive because it is the power of God to save us, not just to bring us into Christ but to grow us there (Romans 1:16-17).
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because I have an enemy who is trying to undermine it in my heart. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. But my car door won’t open this week, and now I’m beginning to question that love. Satan will use any inconvenience, and especially great suffering and sickness, to persuade me of God’s negligence.
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because I forget. I forget what the most important event in history is. I forget what unites us. I forget what matters most. I get distracted by political battles and government elections, by Syrian refugees and Confederate flags, by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, by homework assignments and work responsibilities, by putting food on the table and kids through college. Oh, I never forget Jesus died for me, for you, for us. But I do forget what place it should have in my life, my relationships, my work, my week.
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because in the week behind me, I sinned. The Lord’s Supper keeps me from pride or despair: pride, which likes to excuse, justify, cover up, or even deny my sin, thinking I must prove myself sinless to be okay with God; despair, which knows I’ve failed God again, thinking all hope is lost so I might as well give up. I need the reminder that God is saving me, I’m not saving myself.
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because in the week ahead of me I’ve got major battles to fight and an overwhelming enemy to confront. I need the reminder that my enemy has already been beaten. I need, once again, to know the proclamation of victory. I need to remember V-J day (Victory in Jesus day). I have been set free from my prison camp and can walk like a free man.
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because I need to remember why I’m serving the Lord. I’m not serving Him in hopes of getting Him to love me. I’m serving Him because He has already loved me. I’m not trying to be good enough to get saved. God is good enough to save me.
Every week, I have to be reminded of the gospel because I need to remember the good news I am able to share. Sometimes I look at the worldly and I forget. I forget Jesus did not die so I could sit in my Christian enclave on Sundays silently (and sometimes not so silently) condemning the folks who aren’t sitting with me. He died to save those people, of whom I was once one (cf. Titus 3:1-7). The gospel is a proclamation of victory through Jesus for the ungodly (cf. Romans 5:6-11).
Thank you, Lord, for Your weekly reminder.