The Shape of Worship 9: The Lord's Supper

For Meditation

When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, together as a church family, we are enacting an illustration of the gospel. It does far more for us than merely giving us another chance to talk about the gospel: by taking the bread and juice, we are experiencing the truth and power of the gospel not just in our minds but in our bodies and souls, too.

In taking this meal together, we remember what has happened in the past: that Jesus has died for us and paid fully for our sin, and that nothing can reverse his saving work for us. We also commune with Jesus in the present, as he feeds us and nourishes us and reminds us again of his love for us. We commune with one another, too, remembering that we are a unified family brought together by Jesus and his saving work. Finally, we also look to the future: remembering that one day Jesus will come again and we will sit with him at the wedding feast of the Lamb. The Lord’s Supper brings together everything--past, present and future--and points us again and again to who we are and who God is for us.

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Psalm 116:1-4, 8-15

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” ...

8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 

9 that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;

11 in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.