I had a great answer to prayer today. I've been praying "How do we infuse the Lord's supper with meaning and mystery?" and trying to figure out what an "Agape feast" looks like, as opposed to just a ritual with crackers or a regular big meal.
Reading today in "Church comes home" I found an answer I think is right by the Book. Just something mentioned in passing about drinking companionably after dinner gelled it in my mind...
We break bread, and talk about Jesus' sacrifice FIRST. Then we eat a joyful meal - which will naturally have more spiritual discussion because of that precursor, but we will not make it unjoyful by dictating "only religious topics". It will be natural to talk about "why this meal is different from other meals". Then, "after supper he took the cup"... so after you eat, you share the wine/grape juice, which has all that meaning about blood, redemption, the second coming, and so on. It would be natural to share many scriptures about any of those topics at that point.
These two things, then - symbolic bread at the beginning and symbolic drink at the end - "bookend" that special meal, making it the Lord's Supper.
Also, if year to year you do a Passover meal in the spring, then the Lord's Supper will kind of be a constant reminder of that. The rhythm of that would be to infuse the whole year with that very "mystical meal" by a constant "mini-passover".
I went through the basic scriptures on the Lord's supper, and that model seems to make sense. (Although I also noted for the first time that John's gospel says almost nothing about the elements - he was much more pre-occupied with the foot washing! But then, he being Hebrew may have felt the actual elements didn't need enumeration).
Is that the same or different from what you are doing? Any thoughts beyond that?
First- thank you for the recomendation on church planting training- I am planning on buying it- it looks good. Also, I really like your idea of sandwiching the bread and cup around a meal! We have also struggled with how to do communion, and have done it after a meal, but I can see how breaking bread first could add meaning to the whole love feast as well as prepare our hearts for taking the cup at the end.
So, is there a more recent installment of this?
I have started having communion alone because it's not done often enough in church to suit me. Then we are starting our first home meeting this weekend and so this input is very insightful as well. Any recent news on this?
I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I would encourage you to find a body of believers with whom you can love and serve. When we become believers in Jesus Christ, our teacher and our Messiah, we give up self for His glory. We love God and love others. This can't happen alone.
We learn to love "one another" by working things out with other believers which we do by humbly putting self aside and considering others' needs first, just as Jesus did for you and for me. Then we can share in His fellowship, be His Body, His Bride, the family of God.