A neglected meal

We all know that communion is always theologically rich but often experientially poor while our sung worship can be the exact opposite.

There are lots of reasons why that might be the case but I am frequently challenged to invest more into our practice of communion.

Douglas Wilson points out that communion is a reminder of why we exist:

This Table is all about communion with God, and that is why God created us—to have communion with Him. If He created us to have communion with Him, then having communion with Him is the point of life. This Table, set before us weekly, is our sacramental reminder that apart from communion with God, the image of God necessarily has no point.

With that in mind Dave Bish last year had a helpful mini-series as he thought through communion.

In part one The Lord’s Supper: God stuck between your teeth? he outlines some of the different positions that the church has taken over the years and recognises that

As an Evangelical who has spent a good amount of time outside more formal church traditions I’m aware of the impoverishment we experience in lack of focus and explanation around the Table.

In part two The Lord’s Supper: The worthiness we can bring to God  and looks to John Calvin for inspiration.

Let us remember that this sacred feast is medicine for the sick, solace for sinners, alms to the poor’ but would bring no benefit to the healthy, righteous and rich – if such could be found. For since in it Christ is given to us as food, we understand that without him we would pine away, starve and faith – as famine destroys the vigour of the body. Then, since he is given us unto life, we understand that without him in us we would plainly be dead.

In part three Come to the Table  he looks at some aspects of liturgy and differing ways to approach the table.

In part four, Bish returns to one of his favourites, the puritan, Richard Sibbes

 We feed on the body and blood of Christ spiritually, and are refreshed by it as our bodies are refreshed with the bread and wine. God does not feed us with empty symbols and representations, but with things themselves, that the soul which comes in faith to partake of Christ crucified, and be knit to him, who is in heaven. There is as sure a union and communion between Christ and the Christian as there is between the food and the body when it is digested.

Give it some thought and make the experience of communion as rich as the theology.

Photo by alextorrenegra

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