Showing posts with label Lord's Supper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lord's Supper. Show all posts

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The Bridegroom is Here

The Pharisees complained to Jesus about his disciples breaking the Sabbath by plucking and eating heads of grain as they made their way through the fields. If you had asked them why this mattered, they would have replied that they were concerned about the commandments of God. “It’s not lawful,” they said.

But when the people asked Jesus why it was that his disciples did not regularly engage in fasting, they were not asking about commandments or laws, but rather about a widespread, optional religious practice of the day.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Memory Lapse

Every little local church has its characters. That’s not exactly what Peter was referring to when he called us a “peculiar people”, but it remains the case all the same. Some Christians are … well, odd. They study the scripture diligently, which is good, but seem to reliably produce the weirdest possible interpretations of it, which is probably not so good.

Novelty isn’t exclusively associated with error, but when we run into a Christian whose energies are primarily devoted to coming up with interpretations that defy conventional wisdom, a little verification is in order.

To say the least.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Discerning the Body

“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”

“Let a person examine himself,” intoned the elder, before breaking the bread and handing it out to the congregation. I sat in my pew shaking in my boots.

Sunday, May 14, 2023


It is well known that the early church in Jerusalem dedicated itself to four things: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers. In that respect, it became the model for all churches everywhere until the Lord returns.

As the 21st century church eases its way into Laodicean self-congratulation and apathy, let me ask you which of these four is most likely to fall by the wayside?

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Traitors at the Table

People: you just can’t count on them.

That’s one of the things you can count on about human nature. We don’t have what it takes to see things through.

Oh, we mean well enough … and we intend to try our best … but often our best is a lot less impressive in the delivery than we thought it was going to be.

And let’s face it: most of us are just not in anything for the long haul. While the idea is new and the fire in us is fresh, we’re all enthused about whatever’s going on. But fires cool, and new turns old, and we lose interest.

A career, a program, a plan, a commitment, a hobby or a marriage … all fine in the short term, but give any of them enough time and everything turns out to be work.

So we quit. And honestly, sometimes by the time we do it’s just as well that we do.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Reclaiming Communion

The Lord’s supper. The love feast. Communion. The Eucharist. The breaking of bread.

Call it what you are comfortable with. Like baptism, this ordinance-of-many-names has been co‑opted by the institutional church. The Lord’s table has been quietly moved from the home into the precincts of the “sanctuary”, where the permission of church leadership must be obtained in order to participate.

It’s high time ordinary Christians moved it back.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Eating and drinking to the glory of God?

What a strange idea. I get the “eating” part, and I get the idea of “glorifying God”. But what does our action of eating have to do with God’s glory?

That’s going to take some explaining.

A Meal and Love

I have a friend who has the gift of hospitality. Watching him for many years has totally convinced me of the incredible power of that gift. More than anyone I’ve ever met, he has a knack for making his home a place where people feel welcomed, warmed, loved and fed.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

That Night

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread …”

Well, let me take you back to that night.

Around the table were all the disciples of the Lord, and in the midst of them, the Lord himself. It was a dinner party of sorts, a Passover seder, actually. Solemn in the Jewish calendar, but also a time of thankfulness.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Symbol of a Symbol

Conscious he would soon be passing from this scene as we all do, Jacob blessed his son Judah.

That blessing is poetic, prophetic and open to interpretation on multiple levels, the most significant of which is that he is speaking in some measure of Jesus Christ, who was descended from Judah. One of the things Jacob says of Judah’s offspring is this: “He has washed his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes.”

This is the first time any of the Bible’s writers associate wine with blood, though in this instance probably neither word is to be taken literally.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Flesh and Spirit

“If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

There can be no doubt Jesus Christ was active in the world for thousands of years prior to his incarnation.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Bridegroom is Here

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Inbox: Policing the Table

A reader queries an older post. Jeff asks:

“Are there any hard guidelines as who can eat the Lord’s supper? You refuted a few in this post but are there others not mentioned? (i.e., baptism, member of a local church, a women who doesn’t want to wear a head covering, etc.)

Also, who has the authority to decide who gets to eat and who doesn’t? Obviously God has given us certain instructions pertaining to church order, is it the elders / pastors / leaders’ job to police these issues?”

Good questions, Jeff.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (3)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

Your question about participating in the Lord’s Supper during your separation from Jill is a good one, especially as the weeks pass and your wife shows no signs of coming home or even of being willing to talk things through with you.

Still, perhaps the answer is not quite as complicated as you are making it.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (1)

Someone just murdered my favourite verse ...
It’s time for a new semi-regular Coming Untrue series, I think.

Writing four to five blog posts every week for more than three years involves a fair bit of research, as you might imagine. I don’t keep track, but I suspect I average as many as ten hours a week just looking things up, whether it’s Greek or Hebrew in Strong’s, cross-checking other people’s statements of fact, or looking up verses that others have quoted as evidence of this or that. Hey, I’m not complaining; I benefit greatly from the exercise.

But one thing I notice is that way too often Christian writers cite proof texts that have little or nothing to do with what they are alleged to demonstrate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Traitors at the Table

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Calling an Audible

Some call it the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s Table. Some refer to it as Communion, Holy Communion or the Eucharist. Some call it the Breaking of Bread. Some call it the Worship Service. And some would argue that not all these terms refer to precisely the same thing.

I agree, actually, but it’s not my purpose to set out all such similarities and differences in a single blog post. My point is that, different as they may be, all these overlapping practices (rightly or wrongly) draw their scriptural authority from the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples at their last Passover supper and the things he did there.

Let’s concede this: whatever we call it, none of us celebrate it precisely the way it was celebrated in the early church, and it’s quite possible that even in the first century there was little consistency from one local church to another in the way it was practiced.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

That Night

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Traitors at the Table

The most recent version of this post is available here.