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Waiting on the Lord's Table

Waiting on the Lord's Table

by Richard Nichols

Originally published in
The Christian Informer
July 1998

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Is Baptism Essential
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by Anthony Brockett Jimmy And Raymond
At School

Last updated:
July 13, 1998.

To "eat of this bread" and "drink of this cup" may be the most sacred act a human being can perform today.  During the Lord's supper, each Christian should be seriously engaged in remembering the Lord's death on Calvary's cruel cross (Luke 22:19).  He should see the Lamb of God sacrificed to take away his sins as well as those of every other communicant (John 1:29).  He should see the shed blood of God's son, which purchased the church (Acts 20:28).;  he should realize he is bought with a price -- that price being the death of Christ (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).

When a brother assumes the post of "waiting on the Lord's table," he must realize how grave this responsibility is.  His appearance should be as dignified as it can ever be, his manner should be with as much honor as he can give, and his speech should reflect his respect for the Lord and his reverence for holy things.  He needs to choose the most appropriate words he can command concerning the Lord's supper.  You see, it is an extremely high honor to stand where a Christian stands, and a profound privilege to speak of the greatest sacrifice ever made.

To treat the occasion as something light is an outrageous sin.  During the worship in a congregation where they had plans to eat dinner together under the trees at the back of the lot, a brother rushed up to the table, uncovered the bread and the cup of the Lord's supper, and said, "Well, we've had a long service, I can smell the food, and my stomach's growling, I bet you're hungry too... So let's get this over with."  Question: Did this man discern the Lord's body and blood in the supper?  If not then hear Paul: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (1 Cor. 11:29).

When taking care of the sacred institution, proper passages of scripture, intended to remind the Christians of the significance of the communion might be read.  He might also make remarks about the meaning of the supper.  He might give appropriate illustrations.  But nothing should ever be said which would tend to keep the communicants from their sacred function of remembering Jesus' death as they partake.

Don't ever make inappropriate illustrations.  We once heard a man compare Jesus' death on the cross to a fighting soldier who dies on the battlefield. That was totally out of place.  The reason the soldier died was that he wasn't able to kill his enemy before he was killed or at least to escape.  Jesus could have called ten legions of angels to deliver Him, but refused to escape. Instead, He did His Father's will.  He would not so much as allow the apostle Peter to attempt to protect Him with a sword, but stated that no man takes His life from Him, but rather He lays it down in sacrifice.  He would not retaliate against His enemies, but rather prayed for them saying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  He acted on the will of His Father while the soldier is compelled to go into battle by the civil government.  Christ's goal was to die and take away the sins of the world, while the soldier's goal is to stay alive, annihilate the enemy, and go home.

Brother, please take seriously the task that is before you when called upon to take care of the Lord's table in worship.  Instead of hindering the worshipers from their duty to "remember Jesus and show forth the Lord's death," you need to help them, aid them, and encourage them to the best of your ability.