The Lord’s Supper is both a humble meal among friends and a royal banquet held in the presence of a king. The bread we eat often resembles food given to a prisoner in a dungeon, yet we are taught to envision a wedding feast.
The fare is simple, but it is lovely. The occasion is royal, but it is not stuffy. And though the meal is humble, the occasion is grand.
When it comes to throwing a party with food and wine, some Christians get nervous. We want our life together to be delightful, but not too delightful. We want our feasting to be abundant, but not too abundant.
Jesus established a meal in which He is present in His promises and we, in fellowship with Him and one another. On the material level, the elements are bread and wine; on the covenantal level – the level of oath and promise – the meal is union with Christ.
The Lords Supper reflects His victory over death with humble food, but the promises are set forth as one mighty big banquet.
And on this mountain, shall the Lord of hosts make for all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined…
…He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces…” (Isaiah 25:6, 8)
The way we behave before the table reflects what we think is happening there. We do not have to choose between a mystic religion on the one hand or a breezy, come-as-you-please swagger on the other.
It is solemn, but not sullen. We are attentive because God is in our midst, but we are not stoney-faced.
However, because many are unsure about what is happening at the Lord’s Table, they decide to make it rare. The food is offered, but we are not motivated to come to the table. Perhaps we think that the rarity somehow makes the meal more “special”.
But would a husband only make love to his wife at Christmas and Easter, just to keep the experience special? Would a father only feed his family once a month – just to keep the event meaningful?
No. And so neither should we neglect our communion and fellowship with Christ and His people in order to artificially, “drive up the price.”
Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
As we discover more about the joyous union we have with Christ through simple bread and wine, and what He is accomplishing by it, the more we will want to feast with the Lord together.
And the more we learn to feast on what He has offered as our daily bread, the more our lives will be shaped by thoughtful, happy and disciplined feasting before the Lord throughout the rest of our lives.