Part 1 | Introduction
As we gather together for the anniversary of the Memorial Supper – the one occasion Jesus asked that all remember (Luke 22:19) – this should be a time of personal reflection and forward contemplation of our aspirations for peace on earth and the ultimate adoption from faith sons on earth to spirit sons in heaven. (Romans 8:23) It is a time to fully enjoy the freedom of the sons of God now, and to prepare ourselves for expanded freedom in the eternal heavenly career. (2 Corinthians 3:17) When our hearts are truly united in purpose with Christ to do the Father’s will, it makes for a spirit charged, contemplative and intimate evening with our Lord, Christ Jesus.
No matter how we found our way to participating in a true Memorial Supper with Christ, this is a time to leave behind the baggage of yesterday. (Philippians 3:13-14) Let those Christians who have always seen the need to partake of the ‘bread and wine’ embark on this evening with a renewed appreciation of what this night means to them, and to the whole world. And let those who had never understood the importance of the evening be born again into a new fellowship, a new brotherhood of the sons of God through the life and ministry of Christ Jesus.
When Jesus instituted the first Memorial Supper, he invited his close associates and closed the door behind them with no concern about the scribes, the Pharisees, or the disbelieving nation. They existed in their own intimate moment where brotherly love and humility reigned. Jesus knew that shortly after the Supper, his time would come. Yet even this impending gloom did not dampened his spirits that night. He rejoiced to be able to share this meal with those who became closer than brothers, those whom he loved with a fatherly love, those who would one day be with him in the heavenly kingdom.
In imitation of Jesus and his apostles, let this evening be our refuge from darkness and ignorance. Let us leave behind those who breathe threats against our open confession of union with Christ, and instead relish in being able to share with like believers who by their own free will accept the invitation to fully drink the cup and follow the Christ wherever he goes – even into the heavens. (John 14:3)
This is a participatory meal, a night of sharing with the Christ, a respectful supper in honor of our Lord. It is not an informational meeting, a public talk, a recruiting session, or a promotional meeting for upcoming events. It is not a night for ‘respectful abstinence’ or passive observance. It is not a night for our egos, our knowledge or our extensive research to be front and center. It is not a time to prove religious superiority, dabble in prophetic interpretations, or engage in any conduct that would distract from focusing on the honoree and remembering the glorious life and ministry of Christ Jesus. This night is a special night to exchange the things we share in common with fellow believers. It is a night where knowledge takes a back seat to faith.
The life and ministry of Jesus, as represented by the ‘bread’ and the ‘cup,’ is the means by which every generation can have and exercise hope in the unbreakable promise that the Kingdom of the Heavens is available for all who endure to the end of their mortal life. (Matthew 10:22) Nothing can replace the promise of being face to face with the Father in the distant future in the matchless beauty of the ‘paradise of God’ (Revelation 2:7) where His once ‘unapproachable light’ (1 Timothy 6:16) is now a thing of the past because we have successfully become perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48) and our light shines brightly in the actual presence of the Father of All creation, both great and small. These are the types of expressions that should dominate the evening.
Jesus had a message to give to our world and he let nothing distract him from that agenda. He was not concerned with political systems or social reform. Loving the Father with our whole being, loving one another as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31), proclaiming the good news of the kingdom that sets men free from enslavement to sin, to dogma, and doctrines of men (Matthew 28:19-20), that was the beginning and ending of Jesus’ agenda. He knew that if we could master these things, it would have a domino effect on the rest of society so that all things fall into place as the natural outcome of a God-oriented people. (Matthew 6:33)
Sometimes in our day-to-day lives, we lose sight of that agenda. Sometimes we allow the teachings of men, the thrill of the moment, the achievements, accolades or plaudits of men to disrupt that agenda. But this night is a golden opportunity to set matters straight in our minds and hearts. We can get our feet back on the beaten path of righteousness, pick up anew our crosses, and proclaim Jesus’ life and ministry to aid our fellows who have not yet seen the light or been privy to the light, to come into the light. (John 8:12)
Those who partake of the Christ will be the ones who will be instrumental in ushering in a renewed concept of worship and forward-thinking religion. They are learning to shake off the shackles of controlling and domineering religion and experience self-governance as the free children of God. They are the foundation stones to a new society that will look to the heavens as its future instead of the dust of the ground. This generation is the new beginning of an enlightened era. The sons of the kingdom are indeed, ‘the light of the world.’ (Matthew 5:14-16)
Part 2 | Enhancing the Meaning of the Emblems →