A friend told me about the closing days of his college work.  He had established close friendships with several fellow students.  Each was prepared to go his separate way in a matter of days.  In the years of this acquaintance they had changed from young men to mature adults.  Their shared experiences had molded them into a special unit of friendship.  There were the struggles of exams, professors and bill-paying, as well as the joys of dating, bull sessions and ball games.  Now it would all end.  They might not see one another again, ever.  He invited his friends to his room on their final evening on campus.  “Everyone come!  There will be pizza and cola!”  They all came.  The air was filled with excitement.  There was a special spirit of friendship and warmth.

Since all of these young men were disciples of the Lord, they paused to reflect that the bond of love which they shared that evening must have been something like the Passover meal in the upper room when Jesus gave his disciples the special meal we all the Lord’s Supper.  During the meal Jesus stopped the group.  Using the food and drink before Him, He made some statements, and instituted one of the most profound and far-reaching connections to Himself for them and future generations.  These college boys gained an insight about something they had done often in church assemblies, but had more or less taken for granted.  Often the deep meaning of the Lord’s Supper becomes lost in mechanical and cold routine.

Hearing about that last meal those college boys had together gave me one of my deepest impressions of what the Lord wants from us in partaking of His fellowship meal.  To be sure, we are not required to have a church banquet before we can have the Lord’s meal.  It was never intended to be a full-course dinner.  The Lord’s Supper was given symbolically.  Jesus took the items from the table in front of Him; unleavened bread and wine, and gave new meaning to them.

When Jesus ate and drank with his disciples in that setting, it was a time filled with emotion.  The disciples knew something was about to happen.  They were sure their leader was God’s special messenger.  Some of them had expected that Jesus, like David, would establish a monarchy — and they would help Him rule with power in Jerusalem.  At this moment their anticipation was clouded because they knew Jesus had so disturbed the religious authorities that His life and theirs were threatened.  The momentum of events was nearing a climax of some sort.

In this setting, these loyal friends ate the Passover with Jesus.  It was good to be with one another and to share in the ancient feast which celebrated the mighty hand of God in freeing His people from slavery.  With this flood of past memories, the uncertainty of the present crisis, yet in anticipation of a glorious future, the meal was eaten.

If we take the Supper lightly, perhaps it is because we are lightly attached to our Lord.  Perhaps we are too loosely related with His disciples and the work they are doing in the Kingdom.  The more deeply we are involved in the lives of fellow-believers and united in common Kingdom goals, the more meaningful will be our eating together at the Lord’s table.

By R. Vernon Boyd


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