Recently, I have been reading some excellent literature on the Lord’s Supper. What has provoked my thoughts as I was reading was the depth of the meditations on celebrating the Lord’s Supper; a depth of thought I often find lacking in my own contemplation's. As I was reading, I thought to myself, “How can an individual author write literally hundreds of pages on this one, though highly significant, act?” What further astounds me is not only a single large book on the Lord’s Supper, but the literally thousands of books hundreds of pages long on the Lord’s Supper.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that the Lord’s Supper does not merit such a sea of words. Rather, what I am saying is that I sometimes feel I could barely fill a dixie-cup of words about the Lord’s Supper. My dearth of words is a reflection of a sad state of affairs. Perhaps I have fallen into such a routine habit of participating in the Lord’s Supper that I just do it without thinking much about it.
So what do I think about when partaking of the Lord’s Supper? Honestly, I often think about my week in terms of how sinful I have been, where I have fallen short of God’s holiness, and how I am desiring God’s forgiveness in order to be renewed and live better for God starting anew this week. How pathetic is that? What I notice about my own contemplations when partaking of the Lord’s Supper is that I think of my life in terms of week-long blocks. In other words, how have I lived in relation to God this week? Celebrating the Lord’s Supper each week certainly lends itself to thinking about my life in terms of each week. The Lord’s Supper for me is a beginning and ending point in time. My week is coming to an end, but there is hope and promise that I can live for Christ again this coming week beginning this Lord’s Day.
Now there is nothing necessarily wrong with the above kind of contemplation. My issue is that I seem to be stuck in the same kind of contemplation. I come before Jesus at His Supper and typically say something like the following: “Lord, you know I have not lived for you as I ought. How can I share a meal with you when I have denied you with my sin this week? There is so much I ought to have done, said, or thought that would have been a witness to your glory and power. I am an unworthy servant. Yet, you died for me so that I might live. You gave your blood and body as a sacrifice of love. I can come to your table precisely because I am a sinner! As I taste this bread and wine, may the sensation of this taste remind me that it is no longer I who live, but it is your body and blood that now lives in me.”
Now I do not say the above verbatim every time I celebrate the Lord’s Supper, but the above contemplation is the gist of what I am typically thinking. In fact, I routinely virtually say the same thing every time that I now use a kind of shorthand thought like, “Lord, you know . . .” Nothing more needs to be said, as both the Lord and I know what follows. As I read the thoughts of others on what they think of when celebrating the Lord’s Supper, I realize I have not thought enough and it is time to think beyond the formulaic, “I sin. I fall short. I need forgiveness.” The Lord’s Supper is far more than what I have thought. The question I leave for you is: “When celebrating the Lord’s Supper, what are you thinking?”