I got this question from someone recently regarding communion in the relational church and thought others might appreciate a bit of focus on this as well…
I’m working with a friend on a book about communion. His opening line in that book is, “For the first 300 years in the history of the life of the church no one ever conceived of sharing the Lord’s Table at any place other than the household dinning room table.” And he is a Methodist Pastor that believes in all that high church stuff!
Amazing, isn’t it? We can’t conceive of being served anywhere but in a ‘service,’ the early believers couldn’t imagine serving it anywhere but in a home around a table. Some think a shared meal with other believers is the Lord’s Table, not a cup of juice or bread. Some incorporate the cup and bread into the regular meal. That’s what Sara and I enjoy doing. Sometimes our home group will share it together and some time we just do it when believers have joined us for a meal and evening of fellowship.I’ve even had it at an Outback Restaurant once. I had stopped at the restaurant to meet some folks who wanted to talk with me about their own journey. As the ten of us got situated around the table our host asked the waitress to bring us a glass of red wine and a dinner roll, and we broke the bread and shared the cup before we ordered from the menu. It was so simple and helped us fix Jesus as the center of our evening and the conversation.
And when we celebrate his presence as his people, I enjoy seeing it a bit like a toast. We don’t need formal prayers or a specific liturgy. A brief prayer sanctifying our hearts to him and focusing on the meaning he invested in those elements in the first serving with his disciples is more than enough. Then I like it when someone lifts the cup, and says something that honors the one whom our souls love. Such as, “To the King of the Ages, in gratefulness for his work in us…”