A Special Lord's Supper Announcement

Today, our pastors announced that we will begin observing the Lord's Supper on a monthly basis. The following is the text of this announcement.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Cor 11:23-26)

As a church, just as countless churches from the first century to this day, we have the privilege of observing what we call 'The Lord's Supper.' This is literally what Scripture calls it, “the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor 11:20). And it is a simple, two-course meal consisting of unleavened bread, which represents Christ's sinless body broken for us, and then juice squeezed from grapes, which represents Christ's sacrificial blood shed to cover and atone for our sins.

This meal is a reenactment of the final meal Christ ate with his followers, a meal which was imbued by Christ’s own command, example, and teaching with extraordinary significance.

It is significant first because of its centuries-long roots in the great Passover meal, which reminds and teaches us profound truths about God's deliverance of his people from enslavement in Egypt.

It is imbued with even deeper significance, though, because it symbolizes for us the singular, substitutionary, sacrificial death of Christ, which delivers us from enslavement to and judgment for our sin.

What's more, this is a serious meal, because not only is it reserved for believers, but it is a time to evaluate both the sincerity of our faith and also the closeness and health of our relationships w/ one another within the church. It is so serious in this way that prolonged, repeated observances in a disrespectful, thoughtless, irreverent, or hypocritical way can bring about sickness and death.

This is a special meal also because scripture teaches that we should eat this meal when we gather together as the church. Though Scripture never tells us explicitly how frequently to observe this meal, we have one clear example in Acts of churches doing so weekly, on Sunday, the Lord's Day. Pastor Will will touch a bit more on the practice of churches doing this throughout history. But for now, we will simply say that we both would like to announce that as a church family, we will begin observing the Lord's Table monthly moving forward from today.

Prior to Pastor Thomas being installed as lead pastor, Brookdale had been observing the Lord's Supper on a bi-monthly basis (every other month). After Pastor Thomas arrived, we began doing so on a quarterly basis. In doing so, we devoted each of these four worship services entirely to a Lord's Supper focus, followed by a church-wide fellowship meal. This has been a tremendously meaningful practice, one which we will continue to do. In addition, though, we will now also observe the Lord's Supper in a more condensed, focused format the other 8 months of the year. To help maintain a reasonable time, we will remove the testimony time in those services.

In closing, I would like to point out that we benefit spiritually when we participate in the Lord's Table, we who are believers. Paul explains points this out in 1 Cor 10:14-16:

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

The word “communion” here means “to fellowship, to share in, to benefit from,” which means more than to be mentally stimulated only. It refers to a deeper, personal spiritual benefit that comes from mindfully, sincerely, and seriously participating in this meal together. When we do so, we are blessed as we more deeply acknowledge and embrace all the many and profound benefits of grace that Christ’s death has secured for us. So, by observing the Lord’s Table more frequently, we provide ourselves with more opportunities to grow in the grace of focusing and reflecting our hearts together as a church upon Christ’s death.

We hope that this more regular observance will increase out appreciation and awareness of Christ's death for us and will provide us w/ more frequent opportunities to evaluate the health of our relationships w/ one another, esp. as we grow closer together thru life groups, as well.

Our next observance will be on Good Friday evening and our April observance is already scheduled in the calendar. We will announce subsequent observances in the near future.

Pastor Will will say more about the rich heritage of this observance in church history next Sunday!

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