Why Do We Celebrate the Lord’s Table Weekly?
by John Davis
At Grace Church of Philly our weekly celebration of the Lord’s Table visibly and tangibly expresses the centrality of the gospel in the life of the church. At the Table, God places before His people the best nourishment that He can offer – the atoning work of His Son, as represented in the bread and wine. At the Table, we receive that nourishment as we look in faith to Jesus Christ as represented in these elements. As we physically taste and experience the bread and wine in eating and drinking, we also spiritually experience His nourishment in our coming to and believing in the One, who died for sinners and rose again.
The weekly observance of the Lord’s Table affirms our ongoing need of the gospel, i.e. the basis of our relationship with God is always the death of His Son. Our progress in sanctification is deficient and can never commend us to God on our own merits. Christians always need the gospel. This is what we declare in our weekly observance of the Lord’s Table.
In the order of our worship (liturgy) we observe the Lord’s Table after the message from God’s Word. Our participation at the Table embodies our response to God’s Word. In the hearing of God’s Word we have seen the greatness of God and are called to obedience, to confession of sin, and to the sufficiency of the redeeming work of Christ. We are called to worship Him. So, we come to Christ, as represented in the bread and wine, because we need either cleansing from sin or power to obey (or both) and these can only be found in the gospel. As we come in faith and eat and drink, we worship Jesus Christ.
At the Lord’s Table we gather as one body eating of the one bread and wine. Whatever human distinctions exist in the church, they are meaningless at the Table. We all come as sinners in need of Jesus – rich and poor, black and white and Asian, men and women, young and old. We rise from our seats together and come together to receive the bread and wine. We eat and drink together. We are one in our need and one in our looking to Christ to meet that need. Weekly as we celebrate the Table, we declare our unity in the gospel of Christ.
Our weekly observance of the Lord’s Table is neither legalistic nor faddish. We do not insist that all churches must follow our pattern. In our commitment to gospel-centered worship and ministry, this weekly celebration strengthens us. We worship Christ; we are nourished by Christ; we are united in the gospel.
Come join us! There’s a place at the Table for you.
October 23, 2017
October 16, 2017
August 24, 2017