This Cup…..This Bread

I always wondered about the whole communion/Lords supper/eucharist thing all my life. Not constantly, but in general. Before I was a believer I saw only the weird way that catholics lined up like at school lunch to have some strange guy put stuff on their tongue. Well then I got saved and did it the protestant way. You know the whole thimble of grape juice/cool aid and a chunk of saltine/special communion wafer. Later (just last year) we made some unleavened bread and had bread and wine with contemplation for a communion.

Just this year someone I know brought up the subject of what communion is and I read 1 cor 10 and 11 in a different light. Mind you I could be wrong so please take this as the way I see it not as dogmatic difinite truth. What I saw though is that first of all communion is not spoken of in 1 cor 10 and 11 but rather it is speaking specifically about the Lords supper/table. This, I believe, is of some signifigance because communion seems to be something that happens on a regular basis and the Lords supper seems to be something that happens less frequently (in my opinion a lot less frequently).

“How much less?” You might ask. Well first I want to answer why I don’t think communion and the Lords supper/table are the same. Communion is people coming together to eat and share things together in my opinion. And since the word communion is not in the bible I think that acts 2 is the best showing of what communion is. I would love others thoughts on that as well.

Ok so that’s the main reason why I said communion and the Lords supper are not the same. But there is another reason. The Lords supper to me seems to be the passover (the jewish passover) and its interesting how 1 cor 10 and 11 shows this. Speaking of this (which is my main point) it seems like Paul is talking about a specific cup and a specific bread. The fact that it was at the time of the passover initially and that Jesus is called our passover lamb makes “this” seem that much more specific. It would appear that communion should be a regular thing that we do not so much as an event/events but just as a way of life and the Lords supper/table seems to be a special event done at passover. In 1 cor 10 paul speaks about the rituals of the pagans as opposed to the jewish practices and I think he does this to point out that they probably already knew it was something done at passover. This part is more assumption than concrete truth. But this one thing gets me the most regardless of how you view it. How does one get drunk off a thimble of juice or full off of a piece of cracker. So it would seem that the Lords supper/table is accompanied by a meal as it was on that day that Christ “instituted”. And again regardless of what time of year you believe it is it would appear that it is not a regular thing as is communion/communal living.

Thoughts?

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7 Responses to “This Cup…..This Bread”

  1. Rick Knock Says:

    “…do this in remembrance of me.” -Luke 22:19-20

    Do what? Do THIS. What is THIS? I see two obvious possibilities:

    1. It could refer in general to sharing a meal together, or
    2. It could refer specifically to the Passover meal.

    If these words speak about sharing a meal together, then we’re being clearly told that whenever we come together to share a meal we should be remembering the One in whose name we gather.

    If these words are referring to the Passover meal, then they would be instructing those who would have kept the Passover that from now on the Passover carries a new meaning. Whereas before they remembered how God delivered His people from Egypt by His mighty hand, now the Passover would remind us of how God, through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection has delivered us from the power of sin and death. It would have been a powerful shift in thinking for Jewish believers at that time, and would have been a way to allow Jewish and Gentile believers to celebrate the Passover meal (Lord’s supper) together.

    Another interesting thing about this would be that, as far as I know, no clergy officiated at the passover meal. Each family kept the passover as a family.

    These are just some of my thoughts to add to yours. I haven’t actually researched the history of this sacrament, but it is high up on my list. 🙂

    • As I said it appears to me from the passages pertaining to these things that it is indeed referring to the passover and Jesus did the bread and wine and then said do this so to me it seems like that’s what it was referring to. Also it seems paul referenced the same thing.

      The reason I believe it is the passover is because that’s when Jesus did it and also how paul seems to specifically point out “this cup” and “this bread”. Now this could be a generic term translated wrongly so indeed I could be wrong. I’m open to that possibility. I do not however understand the ritual traditionally done by most christian establishments and/or the frequency of it. Also I don’t understand why its called communion when the only thing communal is the grape juice and cracker/wafer.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this topic rick.

  2. @Mike You are probably right; the Passover Meal as instituted by Christ in the Bible prior to Christ’s crucifixion and death and resurrection was instituted for the Jews and can’t be re-enacted on an actual, weekly basis by the various Christian religious denominations in a 21st century world. Christian denominations all over use the idea of “Communion,” as you’ve described and have applied the terms, “Lord’s Supper,” “Lord’s Table,” “Holy Communion,” the “Breaking of Bread,” and “Eucharist”
    The term “Communion” in many Christian denominations would imply that when parishioners partake of wine and bread, they are expressing a testimony of unity of faith. And, depending on the denomination, the faith varies. Is the “Communion” a memorial to Christ’s victory? Is the “Communion” a supernatural means of receiving Christ’s body and blood in the forms of bread and wine?

  3. “The term “Communion” in many Christian denominations would imply that when parishioners partake of wine and bread, they are expressing a testimony of unity of faith.”

    I think this statement best describes one of the main reasons we do communion weekly. It is not that Jesus commanded us to do it and do it often, or any kind of service we do to maintain some kind of Christian law. Nor do we do it to try and completely replicate the goings on of the Passover meal.

    We do it for two reasons really. To symbolize our membership in the body of Christ worldwide, and to do something together weekly that we can grasp as significant, other worldly, and somewhat sacred and spiritual. Thus the root of “Com”munion, refering to com-ing together as a com-munity. Much like many of our Christian ceremonies and rituals, they are not so much to serve God, or out of some kind of structure or Biblical rule of law, as they are to help us humans come in contact with God in practical and tactful ways together as one.

    Or at least that is the way I have seen it. By the way, no disrespect meant to Catholics or other faiths that treat this ceremony with much more respect and awe. I love you guys, and I love everything about the Eucharist. 🙂

    • Com is also part of common

      This is why it would seem that using communion may be a little lessening to the Lords table to me. Of course neither communion or eucharist are specifically in the bible though they may be implied. Communion to me is something that can and should happen any time believers come together either just at home as a family or with the extended family at others homes or specified locations. I would prefer dinner to accompany the meeting more often than not although I know that these days that is a hard thing to do. We are closer together especially thanks to automobiles but sometimes farther apart as a community. I am guilty so no fingers here. I believe the common meal could be a good step toward making that happen. I also believe the Lords table as a passover ceremony would have an awesome impact on how we view the cup and bread and Christs sacrifice. Speaking of catholics I guess that’s why they like to do it so ceremonially but I just think it makes it a little too rote. But I’ve come to find that a community must find its own reasoning for the things they do and if its meaningful to them then I believe they should do what makes them feel they are edifying each other and glorifying Christ. I think our edifications is just a means and the ultimate end is the glory of God in Christ =D

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