The Power of the Table
SavvIt was a very unusual Sunday morning for Cyndi and me. We were staying with a pastor friend in a Brooklyn brownstone that looked like it came right out of the Cosby show. Parking is a nightmare so everyone walks everywhere, including to church. We set out on Sunday morning for the ten block march in search of a Jewish synagogue—yes, synagogue—because that is where Resurrection Church (EPC) gathers for worship.
It was ironic to sit in that beautiful building, looking at the Tiffany stained glass windows of Old Testament figures, getting ready to worship the Messiah we Christians believe came in the person of Jesus… in a worship space belonging to a people who do not believe the Messiah has yet come. Ironic and unusual.
Here’s something else that was unusual for us: Resurrection Church celebrates communion every Sunday. This is a conservative, evangelical, very “hip” church with modern music, but they are very liturgical and very sacramental. They do not think they have had a worship service unless they serve communion.
It was a fascinating combination for me. Celebrating the meal instituted by Jewish Jesus with his Jewish disciples as they celebrated that Passover—celebrating it IN a Jewish synagogue—with a hip, evangelical yet very liturgical church of mostly young folk.
I found it provocative. Frankly, it was too liturgical… too much reading and reciting and chanting. It wasn’t my style. But what it provoked in me was the question, “What is our view of the Lord’s Supper? What is MY view of it?” I came to believe that I have underestimated the power of the Lord’s Supper in forming and shaping a congregation. This is one of the reasons we have introduced The Table on Wednesday nights as a ten-week experiment in a more sacramental worship experience. After all these years in ministry, I am still learning new things about what God wants to do among His people.
This Sunday will be our celebration of the Lord’s Supper as we join in what we know as “World Communion Sunday.” Across the globe, millions will break the bread and drink the juice as we celebrate what our Jewish friends will one day affirm: Jesus, the Messiah, has come to save his people by the breaking of His body and the pouring out of His blood. And that is powerful.
Please make Sunday worship a priority in your family’s life this week and every week.
P.S. Save the Date!The weekend of November 7-9 will be our first Family Reunion. Nearly all of our mission partners will be flying in to spend the weekend with us. We will serve together, party together, worship together… you won’t want to miss it!