In the last article we discussed how the Lord’s Supper compared to the other acts of worship. We noted that the communion is the only constant in worship, never changing from Sunday to Sunday. But the significance of it also lies in its simplicity. The Lord’s Supper functions as the most basically executed act of worship.
Sometimes it is a challenge to keep focused during a public prayer. The reason why is because someone else is leading your thoughts, and not your own mind. When we worship God in prayer we have to mentally strive to let another guide the words and intents of our communication to God. The prayer leader may word the prayer different than you might, or pray longer or shorter than you usually do. In addition, we close our eyes, which can help us blot out distractions; but it can also make us sleepy!
We face similar challenges when it comes to the act of preaching. It is often the longest individual portion of worship. Even when the subject matter is interesting, the sermon is well prepared and the speaker is enthusiastic, it takes a lot of mental energy to follow the study of a Gospel sermon. Someone once told me, “The brethren in the 1st century listened to Paul preaching all the way till midnight in Acts 20:7.” To which I responded, “yes, but the brethren got so tired that one of them fell out of an upper window and died” (Acts 20:8-12).
Singing, although it is enjoyable, takes work as well. Paul said we are to sing with the “spirit and understanding” (1Cor. 14:15). We not only must be zealous when we express the lyrics of the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; but also, we must understand what we are singing, thinking on the words. Furthermore, there is a physical element as well. We have to synchronize our breathing, pitch, tone, and rhythm with the song leader and the rest of the congregation; a feat that is not easily achieved.
Even offering money for the work of the church is no easy deed. It is more than just finding “whatever” amount of money is in my purse or wallet at the time the collection plate is passed around. It should be planned and intentional. While the New Testament doesn’t designate a specific quantity, it does expect there to be purpose to it; to give as a man “purposes in his heart” (2Cor. 9:7). A lot of time and effort goes into examining our finances and finding an appropriate amount of money that we offer on Sunday.
But in contrast to all the other acts of worship, the Lord’s Supper is fairly basic. It requires only three of the most elementary commands Christ has ever given to his disciples: eat, drink and remember him (1Cor. 11:23-24). Although, the thoughts and topics of our minds as we consume the emblems are profound and heart pricking; but the execution is simple: eat, drink and remember him. While worship does require preparation, energy, time, and effort, the experience as a whole should be viewed as a privilege and blessing to engage in. And in the feast divine that inhabits our practice of praise, we share a solemn, peaceful, tranquil, and humbling meditation upon the body and blood of Christ. The Lord’s Supper is significant in its simplicity!