As Christians meet for worship today around the world, local churches will meet at different times. Culture and customs may impact the order, style and length of worship.
Some churches will meet in modern facilities with large crowds attending. Others will assemble in simple, nondescript buildings. Some may meet in rented storefronts. And others may gather in a small group in a family home.
Furthermore, I wonder how many different languages and dialects will lift their voices in praise and prayer to God today?
Yet, there will be one common element regardless of the country, custom, language, or meeting environment. Communion. The Lord’s Supper.
In 1Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul points out there are 4 directions in which we look when we take communion
#1 We look Back.
Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of Me.” In my mind’s eye, I see the Passover scene in which he instituted it.
I see Him as He faces betrayal, denial, and death. I see the kangaroo court of trial. I see the scourging. The ridicule. The rejection.
I see Him bearing His cross to Calvary, bloodied, bruised, beaten with his back cut to ribbons. I see the nails driven in His hands. I see the excruciating agony He suffered on the cross.
I see the blood. I see His atoning sacrifice. I see the world’s greatest demonstration of love.
#2 We look within.
The supper also reminds us to look inside ourselves. To take communion seriously., with self-examination, and self-judgment. To partake with the right focus. It is not a rite or ritual to be taken casually, thoughtlessly, or flippantly. But to be observed reverently, respectfully, and purposefully.
#3 We look around.
Not critically, or judgmentally but we look with appreciation and recognition of our fellow believers. We’re reminded that we are family. God’s family. Brothers and sisters. All bought by His blood and brought together as one. As we eat together, we are reminded of the commonality of our faith, the integrity of our love, and the unity of our hope.
#4 We look forward.
Communion is observed with anticipation. Eagerness. And longing. Looking ahead we see His coming. Our future victory. Our eternal home with Him. One day we will not be scattered around the world in many groups. But will join around the heavenly throne. Together.
That’s what I see today as I take communion.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman