Lord’s Supper Responses from Readers
Previous issues of RW invited readers to share reflections of their participation in the Lord’s Supper as well as creative expressions of the teaching related to the Lord’s Supper. Included below are some reader responses. Please continue to send us your thoughts and creative ideas in anticipation of RW 88, a theme issue on the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus Calls Us to His Table
Jesus calls us to his table,
here to celebrate the feast;
he invites us to remember
how from sin we were released.
Here he calls us to communion
with each other in his name,
and assures us of the coming
of the kingdom he proclaimed.
We remember Christ descended
to the human life we share;
we remember how we led him
to the cross and nailed him there.
We remember how he conquered
death by rising from the grave;
we remember that he did this
all for us he came to save.
So we gather at the table
joined together hand in hand,
men and women of all races,
from all times and every land.
We assemble as a body,
joined in Christ who is our Head,
knowing he is with us always,
and in him our souls are fed.
Thus we stand in hope of glory,
of the dawning of the day
when we’ll see God’s kingdom fully,
all his saints, in bright array.
Then we’ll gather at his table,
there invited by his grace,
and in wonder, as he promised,
see our Savior face to face.
Trinity Church in the Pines, Grand Lake, Colorado
As You Remind Us
As you remind us of your grace to us, O God,
we thank you for your mighty sacrifice.
The bread, the body of our Lord
the cup, the blood poured out
the great atonement granting us
As you renew your covenant with us, O God,
we thank you for the sacrament you give.
The sign of what our Lord has done
the seal that it is ours
confirming to your people that through Christ we live.
As we join saints and angels in your praise, O God,
we thank you for our presence at your throne.
We lift our hearts to you, our king.
We lift our hopes and prayers.
We worship you, proclaiming you are God alone.
As we take nourishment from this, your feast, O God,
we thank you for the means of grace you give.
Your Spirit teaches us to love.
Your Spirit helps us serve.
You Spirit keeps us faithful in the lives we live.
—Mary Rose Jensen
© 2004 Garden Rose Music, P.O Box 16040, Sugar Land, TX 77496; 1-800-746-4476. You have permission to use this text if you have a CCLI license. If not, please contact the author for permission. To hear the music go to http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/cgi-bin/show_score.pl?scoreid=59038.
Growing up, my family were active members of a United Methodist church where communion was done in a
number of different ways. One thing in common (other than the elements) was that each person came to the front of the sanctuary to receive communion.
After the invitation, members of the congregation would walk in an orderly fashion to the front and kneel at the railing, 20 or so at a time. The minister would then proceed from person to person offering the bread, followed by an usher or an acolyte who offered the cup. I don’t remember exactly what the minister said as I received the elements but I always had a feeling of being connected. There was something very intimate in that moment. After those kneeling had received communion the minister would say something (again, I don’t remember what it was) and we would return to our seats. The people who were seated either waiting their turn or waiting for others to have their turn would be singing hymns.
Unlike the church I presently attend, communion wasn’t always taken in the same way. As a kid it was very dramatic when the minister would actually rip the loaf in half at the beginning. Sometimes the small piece of bread was handed from minister to church member. Other times the church member broke a piece of bread from the broken loaf offered by the minister. The grape juice was sometimes offered in small cups, other times in a large common cup into which each person dipped the bread, or each person would take a sip from a common cup.
There were a few times when I was the acolyte helping with communion. I remember being very nervous on those Sundays. But participating as I did on those Sundays left me feeling that I was very much a part of the church family.
Sometimes these days taking communion can feel rather mechanical. The bread and wine are passed through the pews by the elders; the congregation sits and waits/watches as the minister serves the organist and musicians and finally the elders. And finally everyone takes and eats/drinks. I miss that act of moving from seat/pew to the front of the church.
—Teresa Hiemstra, Edmonton, Alberta
As I was reading the article “The Day I Got Lost in the Music” in RW 84 it brought to mind our spring Lord’s Supper [celebration]. I am a member of our choir, and we sang the “Communion Song” at our Lord’s Supper. It was one of those times in my life that I was really feeling down, and wondering if anyone really cares. As we sang the words “remember me” I had problems singing. It was very emotional. I was thinking, I’ll always “remember you,” Lord, and thank you for “remembering me” and not keeping a list of my wrongs.
—Sandy Pruszko, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania