Sometimes people tend to think that the Lord’s Supper consists simply of the bread and the wine, and then the eating and drinking. But more elements are involved than just that. There is the prayer of consecration, there is the word that sets these elements apart to a holy use, then the breaking of the bread, and the distribution of the elements. Today I want to focus on this last thing, the distribution.
You notice that a minister is presiding over the meal, and this is because the elders of the church hold the keys. When the bread and wine are consecrated, the men then distribute the elements to you in the congregation. They do this with you seated, and you pass the elements up and down the rows, family style.
You are seated because this is a feast. The early Israelites were told to eat the Passover meal standing, to symbolize their pilgrimage out Egypt. They were to eat while ready to go. Years later, after they had entered the land of Canaan, the Israelites began to eat it sitting down, to symbolize that they had come into their inheritance. And so it is that we find Jesus and the disciples eating the meal in the common posture of the household meal. We are seated here the same way we would be seated if we came to a great banquet, for that is what this is.
And you pass the elements to one another. We do that on purpose as well. We are the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). We are all brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 3:8). We are to serve one another in love. The consideration you show in handing the tray to the one next to you is as much part of the meal as the bread and the wine are.
We are seated together in the great household of faith, accepted as sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters to one another. Accept the seat that is offered to you. Serve one another in love.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.