One step within the auditorium door, dad turned to mother and said, “Oh no, it’s communion.” The blue-collar father of four was anxious to head out on vacation and saw the Lord’s Table as further delay on that Sunday morning. It did extend the time of service in the local church routinely as the pastor, each and every month, tacked on communion at the end.
Biblical Baptists have historically stood for the honoring of two ordinances in the local church, namely: baptism and communion. We are most careful to distinguish between the practice of an ordinance and the sacramental concept of those who teach salvation by works. We are, in fact, so careful not to be associated with the candle lighters and robed clerics, that we may well be guilty of not appreciating the value of creating an appropriate “atmosphere” for communion in the life of the flock. Communion is a highly visual and sensory demanding practice of utmost significance. In many local assemblies the Lord’s Table is a “tack on” once a month. The Lord’s Supper is worth doing well. It deserves to be the focus of the entire service in which it is shared. Here’s why:
- The Lord’s Table is a public remembrance. The Lord established this fellowship activity in a group setting. Communion is a collective church activity.
- The Lord’s Table is a personal remembrance. Jesus Christ is the vivid focus of the participant’s mind and heart.
- The Lord’s Table is a perpetual remembrance. The local church is to keep doing it until Jesus returns for His own.
- The Lord’s Table is a pictorial remembrance. The senses of sight, taste, and smell are employed by God to cause us to remember the Lord’s death.
- The Lord’s Table is a purposeful remembrance. Among the many things associated with this fellowship of remembrance are: sitting still with God in mind, self-evaluation, confession, re-alignment of priorities, public testimony, thoughtful contemplation of Christ’s return, and renewal of godly perspective.
- The Lord’s Table is a predicated remembrance. The fellowship of the Table is based (predicated) upon the Jewish observance of Passover.
- The Lord’s Table is a passionate remembrance. God’s intention is that this activity be one of the most heartfelt, emotionally engaged, and encouraging things we do as the blood-bought people of the Lord.
There is no end to creative ideas that can be used to make the celebration of the Lord’s Table a meaningful experience regularly. Certainly, we shouldn’t allow the flock to just go through the motions. Certainly, it is worth our time and effort to step up our preparation and practice.
Here are a few ideas to stir your mind:
- The Music Communion- Prepare a song sermon in which the truths of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascent, and return are sung as communion is served.
- The Scripture Communion- Prepare an “all Scripture” service in which nothing is said or sung except Scripture.
- The Passover Communion- Demonstrate the roots of our command.
- The Patriotic Communion- Think of a communion table with a casket flag and the truth of Romans 5.
- The Thanksgiving Communion- Let the testimonies begin.
- The Four-Table Communion- The Passover Table, the Emmaus Table, the Communion Table and the Kingdom Table can be represented in their connections.
- The Outdoor Communion- Changing venues can really breathe life into the celebration.