The most meaningful part of a Christian’s week is when He communes with His Savior every Lord’s Day (Matt. 26:29; 1 Cor. 10:16). The Lord knew what He was doing (obviously) when He instructed His church to observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20; 16:2). As with all of His instructions, partaking of the Supper every Sunday is not a random command, but purposeful, for He knew that humans need a regular reminder of the most important things, and regular motivation to stay devoted to those most important things. Communing every first day of the week ensures that we stay focused as His people.
But, what do we do when we partake and “do the same thing” week after week? We eat of the unleavened bread, as He instructed, in order to honor and remember His “body,” which was “given” for us (Luke 22:19). But, what do we do as we partake? We drink of the fruit of the vine, as He instructed, in order to honor and remember His “blood,” which was “shed” for us (Luke 22:20). But, what do we do as we partake?
Jesus told us that, by partaking and while partaking, we are to do this “in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). It is not a meaningless or thoughtless time! It is not a “dead time” in our worship! Our hearts are to be remembering what our Savior did for us!
We are warned very forthrightly of partaking “in an unworthy manner” (1 Cor. 11:27, 29). What does that mean? Does that mean I am not to partake if I don’t feel “worthy”? No, that’s not the meaning at all. The expression is not an adjective to describe the partaker, but it is an adverb to describe the action—the manner in which I partake is to be worthy. The text warns that if I do not partake in a “worthy manner” that I “will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord,” and that I will be eating and drinking “judgment to” myself (1 Cor. 11:27, 29). Every conscientious reader of the New Testament has been taken aback by that warning and has sought diligently to eat and drink in a “worthy manner,” and fortunately for us, the text explains what that entails. As we partake, (1) we are to remember “the Lord’s death” (11:24-26), (2) we are to “examine” ourselves (11:28), and (3) we are to “discern the Lord’s body” (11:29). The action of eating and drinking is considered “worthy” by the Lord when the worshiper’s heart and mind are fully engaged!
So, practically speaking, what does that mean? How can I, week-after-week, remember, examine and discern? The Bible provides abundant resource for my weekly meditation. The articles over the next three weeks will suggest 21 ways.