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Archive for the Lord’s Supper Category


Aug 29

What to Think About During the Lord’s Supper

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Lord's Supper

Every last Wednesday of the month, we share in the Lord’s Supper together as a church. Here is a reflection from J.I. Packer on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper for our communion with God, our assurance, and our fellowship with one another.

I don’t think we can ever say too much about the importance of an active exercise of mind and heart at the communion service. . . .

Holy Communion demands us of private preparation of heart before the Lord before we come to the table. We need to prepare ourselves for fellowship with Jesus Christ the Lord, who meets us in this ceremony. We should think of him both as the host of the communion table and as enthroned on the true Mount Zion referred to in Hebrews 12, the city of the living God where the glorified saints and the angels are.

The Lord from his throne catches us up by his Spirit and brings us into fellowship with himself there in glory. He certainly comes down to meet us here, but he then catches us up into fellowship with him and the great host of others who are eternally worshipping him there.

We are also to learn the divinely intended discipline of drawing assurance from the sacrament. We should be saying in our hearts, ‘as sure as I see and touch and taste this bread and this wine, so sure it is that Jesus Christ is not a fancy but a fact, that he is for real, and that he offers himself to be my Saviour, my Bread of Life, and my Guide to glory. He has left me this rite, this gesture, this token, this ritual action as a guarantee of this grace; He instituted it, and it is a sign of life-giving union with him, and I’m taking part in it, and thus I know that I am his and he is mine forever.’ That is the assurance that we should be drawing from our sharing in the Lord’s Supper every time we come to the table.

And then we must realize something of our togetherness in Christ with the rest of the congregation. . . . [We should reject the] strange perverse idea . . . that the Lord’s Supper is a flight of the alone to the Alone: it is my communion I come to make, not our communion in which I come to share. You can’t imagine a more radical denial of the Gospel than that.

The communion table must bring to us a deeper realization of our fellowship together. If I go into a church for a communion service where not too many folk are present, to me it is a matter of conscience to sit beside someone. This togetherness is part of what is involved in sharing in eucharistic worship in a way that edifies.

—J. I. Packer, “The Gospel and the Lord’s Supper,” in Serving the People of God, vol. 2 of Collected Shorter Writings of J. I. Packer (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1998), 49-50.

We meet for this month’s Lord’s Supper service tonight at 6:30 PM. If your schedule has hindered you from joining us for our Wednesday Lord’s Supper services, next month we will share in the Lord’s Supper together in both services on Sunday morning, September 30.

HT: Justin Taylor

Oct 11

October Lord’s Supper and Elders’ Q&A

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Events,Lord's Supper

The month of October has two special things going on. First, we will be sharing in the Lord’s Supper on a Sunday morning, October 30. Second, on the Wednesday that would normally be our Lord’s Supper service, October 26, DSC’s elders will host a Q&A session.

Why are we switching things up this month for the Lord’s Supper?

No where in the New Testament do we receive specific instructions concerning when or how often we are to share together in the Lord’s Supper. That’s interesting. We’re told by Jesus, “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:25). And when the Apostle Paul had the chance to prescribe a pattern, he only said, “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 1:26).

But that’s okay. It’s enough for us to know the purpose of the Lord’s Supper: to remember Christ’s death and to proclaim Christ’s death until he returns. Our tradition of sharing the Lord’s Supper on the last Wednesday of each month is meant to help us do this with seriousness, clarity, and focus. It’s a great tradition and it honors Jesus’ command.

But for the same reasons, we’re going to change things up once a year and share the Lord’s Supper together on a Sunday morning. We hope to do this going forward once each year around this time of year.

How can I submit a question for the Elders’ Q&A?

First of all, just plan to submit at least one question. Any question. If you have any questions about our operations, ministries, vision, church planting, or anything else that you would like answered, submit them through the Communication Card on Sunday morning or by email to info@desertspringschurch.org.

If you don’t have any questions, stop for a minute and think up at least one question, then send it in. The elders collect questions in advanced to ensure coverage of the most prominent issues. However, if there are questions unaddressed at the Q&A they will be answered through the DSC Blog or email.

The Elders’ Q&A will take place at 6:30 PM, but you’ll want to come an hour early. It’s not a Lord’s Supper meeting, but we still need to eat and we still need to talk to each other. So, the youth are hosting their now customary pre-service church-wide meal at 5:30 PM. Plan to come, and plan to come early.

 

Jun 30

How We “Examine” Ourselves in Communion

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Lord's Supper,Quote

Tonight (6:30 PM) we meet for the Lord’s Supper. It is a mingling of song, Scripture, and symbol for the purpose of remembrance. We hope you plan to come.

But what if you had a bad week spiritually? Should you still come, knowing that examination is part of Supper? John Piper answers that question well.

Can I take the Lord’s Supper if I’ve had a bad week spiritually?

It depends on the transaction of the moment, not the quality of the week gone by.

Nobody brings a successful week to the Lord’s Table, period. Nobody. We all call into question—and rightly—the effectiveness of our devotions or the quality of our communication with our kids. It’s never been perfect. Therefore, we bring to the table our sin.

That’s the point of the table. It is a recognition of our sin.

However, what you do in preparation—when you take stock of yourself—is that you confess all known sin. You do Psalm 19: “Cleanse me of hidden faults, and hold back your servant from presumptuous sins.”

So you pray specific confession for the sins you know, you pray general confession for the sins you’re unaware of, and you receive afresh the cleansing, the application of the blood of Christ (1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”).

Now, after you’ve appropriated afresh the work of Christ and are enjoying that forgiveness, you eat. And you eat worthily, not because you had a good week, but because you have a great Savior and are united with him by faith and are renouncing all those sins.

That’s what I encourage our people to do. “Set it right with God now, in these next three minutes.” And then as the trays come we celebrate that, we remember the foundation of that forgiveness, by eating.

Jul 29

A Shocking Thing to Forget Him

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Lord's Supper,Quote

In light of our Lord’s Supper service tonight (6:30 PM), below is a modern hymn by D.A. Carson on how shocking it is that we would forget the Savior and need to remember him as we do in the communion meal. Let’s come together tonight in song, scripture, and symbol for the much-needed remembrance of Christ.

A shocking thing, this, that we should forget
The Savior who gave up his life –
To turn from the cross, indifferent, and let
Our minds veer toward self-love and strife.
The table, this rite, is habit – and yet
Christ’s words pierce our shame like a knife:

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

Enamored with power, surrounded with praise,
We set out our ecclesial plans.
Efficiency hums, and we spend our days
Defending, promoting our stands.
Techniques multiply, our structures amaze –
The gospel slips out of our hands.

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.
O remember, remember the cross.
From my side issued water and blood,
This was no accident,
I bore the wrath of my God.”

“Remember my bed, the dank cattle shed,
Though glory was all my domain.
Remember the years of service and tears
That climaxed in lashings of pain.
By God’s own decree, your guilt fell on me,
And all of my loss is your gain.”

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

“Remember my tears, Gethsemene’s fears;
Recall that my followers fled,
That I was betrayed, disowned and arraigned –
The Prince of Life crucified, dead.
Remember your shame, your sin and your blame;
Remember the blood that I shed.”

While lifting the cup, the Savior spoke up,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

So now when we eat this feast simply spread
I blush I forget to recall.
For this quiet rite means once more I have fed
On bread that gave life once for all;
Memorial feast—just wine, broken bread—
And time to reflect on Christ’s call:

While breaking the bread, the Lord Jesus said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.”

From the album, Shout with Delight.

May 28

John Owen on Beholding Christ

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Books,Lord's Supper,Quote,Sermon Follow-Up

Last night, at our Lord’s Supper service, I preached from Heb. 12:1-4 and emphasized our need to “fix our eyes on Jesus” and “consider him.” I quoted from John Owen’s excellent book, The Glory of Christ (1684):

How, then, can we behold the glory of Christ? We need, firstly, a spiritual understanding of his glory as revealed in Scripture. Secondly, we need to think much about him if we wish to enjoy him fully (1 Peter 1:8). If we are satisfied with vague ideas about him we shall find no transforming power communicated to us. But when we cling wholeheartedly to him and our minds are filled with thoughts of him and we constantly delight ourselves in him, then spiritual power will flow from him to purify our hearts, increase our holiness, strengthen our graces, and sometimes fill us “with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

This quote is taken from the Puritan Paperback version — modernized, abridged and made easy to read. You can see the other volumes in the Puritan Paperbacks series here. If you’re feeling courageous or have some comfortability with reading Puritan prose, the unabridged edition of Glory of Christ is available online for free or in the hard cover Volume 1 of Owen’s Works.

I’d recommend eventually getting to and working through (even if it is work) the older, unabridged edition, but no matter what version you start with, I cannot recommend this book enough. It might be in my top three of all time favorites.

UPDATE: My friend, Justin Taylor, pointed me to a version of The Glory of Christ that I unfortunately didn’t know about. It appears to be an unabridged yet revised/updated edition of the book, put out by Mentor. So this edition would be something between the two options listed above: longer than the abridged Puritan Paperback, but in more contemporary language than Volume 1 of Owen’s Works (which was last edited in the 1850s). If you’re interested to read more about the Puritan John Owen, a good place to start is Justin Taylor’s website JohnOwen.org.

May 27

Something in My Hands I Bring

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Lord's Supper,Quote,Recommended Link

In anticipation of our Lord’s Supper service tonight, here’s a meditation from Paul Tripp:

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51: 17).

God doesn’t want you to come to Him empty-handed.

No, you can’t come to Him full of yourself,

And you can’t come to Him based on your track record

And you can’t use your performance as a recommendation.

No, you can’t come to Him based on your family,

Your personality,

Your education,

Your position in life,

The successes you’ve had,

The possessions you’ve accumulated,

Or the human acceptance you’ve gained.

But God requires you to come with your hands full.

He requires you to bring to Him the sweetest of sacrifices,

The sacrifice of words,

He calls you to bring Hosea’s offering.

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God.

Your sins have been your downfall!

Take words with you

And return to the Lord.

Say to Him

“Forgive all our sins

And receive us graciously,

That we may offer our lips as the sacrifice of bulls.”

God doesn’t want you to come to him empty-handed.

He asks of you a sacrifice.

Not a grain offering,

Not a lamb or a bull.

No, that requirement has been satisfied

By the blood of the Lamb.

Yet God asks of you a sacrifice

It is the offering of words,

Words of humility,

Words of honesty,

Words of moral courage,

Words of moral candor,

Words that could only be spoken,

By one who rests in grace.

Words of confession are what you must bring.

Place words,

Free of negotiation or excuse,

On His altar of grace,

And receive forgiveness and cleansing.

Uncover your heart,

Exposed by words, and say:

“We will never again say, ‘Our gods’

To what our own hands have made,

For in You the fatherless find compassion.”

What David willingly did He requires of you,

Come with words,

It is the way of grace,

It is the way of freedom,

It is the way to God.

Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy, pp. 25-26.

May 27

Lord’s Supper Tonight

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Lord's Supper

Join us for our Lord’s Supper service this evening. It’s always the last Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM. In fact, come early this week for the missions fund-raising dinner at 5:30 PM.

(Yes, I know that’s when the Red Wings game starts, but all things in their time: forgiveness, reconciliation, prayer, singing, preaching, sacraments, and then … “go, drink your wine, eat your bread, and watch your hockey with a merry heart, for God has already accepted your deeds” – paraphrasing Eccl. 9:7.)