Reflections on Ordinances and Sacraments

So fourth’s time a charm-I have tried this so many times. The blog posting is not going so well, and often times I have to retype my sermons but here we go.
I recently preached a sermon on the Lord’s Supper. It got me thinking about how the set up of the Christian church has changed over time. The Lord’s Supper used to be considered the literal Body and Blood of Christ and it could only be delivered by a priest or senior pastor. Services had a formal set up and followed a certain tradition which was steeped in the Bible. It was called the Eucharist, Holy Communion, and the Lord’s Supper. But as time went on, and the Anglican Church came into being we saw a change. It was still the centre of the service, but they were meant as emblems, sacraments. Many Orthodox denominations held the Lord’s Supper to be somewhere in between these two, depending on the devoutness of their beliefs. As Protestantism became more common the set up of the Lord’s Supper went from a priest or pastor serving crackers and wine to a lay person serving grape juice and wonder bread; this was a far cry from the unleavened bread and desert wine that Christ instituted over 2000 years ago.
When we were called to take communion we are told to examine our hearts, minds, and confess any sins. It is said anyone who drinks this cup or eats this bread in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement on themselves. We were told that only believers in the Lord Jesus Christ were to partake of the emblems. It seems nowadays the services are not centred on the Lord’s Supper, we are given very positive messages that in an age of PC correctness is more concerned with giving a loving view of God rather than portraying Him as He was originally portrayed in the beginning, a Holy God to be feared, loved, and obeyed. And that fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and it is that knowledge which we should take to the table of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what does the Lord’s Supper mean to us nowadays?

1500 years ago, 150 years ago, 50 years ago most people had it drilled into them that the Lord’s Supper represented suffering, fear of death, betrayal, and the solemn, sombre, and holy preparation for the sacrifice of the Lamb. Many people now think of Christ’s life when they approach the time for Communion. They reflect on His birth, His infancy, His adolescence, and His teenage years. They focus on His laugh, His tears, and His ministry. Many picture Him spending time with His family and His friends, they imagine Him showing kindness to the adulteress woman, the Samaritan, and healing those who are sick. But as we reflect on the Lord’s Supper I find it is a very self-centred endeavour. How often do we wonder what was going through Christ’s mind on that Passover night? Passover is meant to be a time of hope and holiness. But what was Christ thinking as He was saying those words? What thoughts passed through His mind as He was washing their feet? I think that we should try to align ourselves to the Mind of Christ, if we can do this, we may come closer to a deeper appreciation of what Christ did for us on the cross. See the face of God never changes but His clothes of worship sometimes do. The danger there is that we must wonder, first is it Biblical? Does it add to the Glory of God? I think that when it comes to Communion a church must consider carefully before they alter an order of service.

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