As I read through the New Testament, it seems very clear to me that the first century church met on the first day of every week. For those who don’t know, the first day of the week is Sunday (not Saturday). This is taught very clearly in the New Testament. The focal point of the assembly was to partake of the Lord’s Supper. It saddens me when I hear of our sister churches that deemphasize Communion, or stop partaking all together. That is why at South Side, the table of our Lord sits at the front and center of our facility. The table alone is a constant reminder of the event that saved us—the death of Jesus on the cross.
Churches often change the way they do things for the sake of convenience. When it comes to communion, some churches have cut out the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis. Many argue if you take it every week, it will get old and simply ritualistic. Some churches have placed communion in a side room and tell the congregation that it is there if you desire to take it. Others, because the first day of the week is too full, offer communion when it is more convenient, on a Saturday evening. And this list goes on of what the church does in the name of convenience!
Obviously, we at South Side insist on “Doing Bible things in Bible ways”. This principle forces me to take the Lord’s Supper in the way that it was commanded in the New Testament.
Let me offer these suggestions in partaking:
1. The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance for the Christian of the death of Jesus, that which saves us! That is one reason it has no meaning to the non-Christian. They have not come into contact with the death of Jesus yet. And it is just a remembrance! I do not have my sins forgiven when I partake of the Lord’s Supper. I have my sins forgiven at immersion! After my immersion He continues to forgive me as I confess my sins to Him (I John 1:9). I am glad that I do not have to wait until Sunday to have my sins forgiven. Communion is a remembrance of the death of Jesus, which saves us! To not partake is to say to God that it is not important.
Acts 20:7 says, “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” One of the reasons the early Christians even met on the first day of the week was to partake of the breaking of the bread. Some would say that is only one verse that says they partook on the first day of the week. Let me ask you: how many times does someone have to tell you something before you do it? If we only have one verse, does that make it any less important?
2. Partake of the emblems SERIOUSLY! It is NOT just a ritual! Communion is something that God, in His infinite wisdom, has told us to do every first day of the week. He knew we would forget! He offered the Hebrews of the Old Testament the Sabbath to remind them of their salvation from bondage (passing through the Red Sea). It was a weekly reminder to keep their minds always in tune that God had saved them. In a similar way, celebrating the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week keeps in our minds ALWAYS that God has saved us! I Corinthians 11: 27-30 – Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
Isn’t it great how God put together Sunday (the day Jesus came out of the tomb) and the Lord’s Supper (reminding us of the event that saved us)? I can’t wait for the next Lord’s Day when we meet to share in the Apostles’ Doctrine, to the breaking of the bread, to prayers and to fellowship!
I am glad to commune with our Lord weekly on Sunday. And I am honored that I get to do it with you, South Side, each and every Lord’s Day.