Vol.XX No.X Pg.6
December 1983

Taking It Seriously

Robert F. Turner

As the young man considered the meaning of the Lord's Supper, a tear slipped silently down his face. His mother, trying to remember if she had turned off the roast, noticed and asked, "What's wrong son?" He hesitated — "The greatness...what Jesus has done for me...it gets to me." "Well," she replied, "don't take it so seriously."

What? Don't think seriously about the memorial of the cruel death of Christ, that paid the penalty for our sins? The feast that reminds us of our conditional fellowship with Him, and that the world is in need of that fellowship? Emblems that point forward to the promised return of our Saviour? How could the mother be so thoughtless concerning the Lord's Supper when it reminds us of so many important things? Before we begin to cast stones, we need to realize she had probably fallen prey to the dulling disease of habit. When something is practiced on a frequent basis it may be carelessly done, with little conscious thought. One who never had his mind on the noon kickoff when the bread was being broken may cast the first stone.

One of the many problems plaguing the Corinthian church was the mockery they had made of the Lord's Supper. After rebuking them, Paul began to explain its meaning and purpose by first showing it is to remind us of the death of Christ (1 Cor. 11:17-26). "This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me...This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often...ye proclaim the Lord's death..." Instead of condemning the mother we need to examine our hearts to see if we are looking backward to that day when the Son of God died on the cross for our sins. It might help us forget about the roast, the kickoff, and anything else that distracts.

Each Sunday when we participate in the Lord's Supper it should also remind us of our conditional fellowship with the Lord. "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons" (1 Cor. 10:14-22). Paul is not talking of a physical impossibility but of a moral one. The Christian of that day was not to participate in a feast given in honor of an idol. He could not, and have fellowship with Jesus Christ. In the same sense today we must recognize that we cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with Him (1 Jn. 1:5-6). The table of the Lord reminds us that we are in communion with Him on a conditional basis. Let us examine our hearts!

Another fact, vitally related to the Lord's Supper, is His eventual second coming. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come" (1 Cor. 11:26). This is the same coming described in Acts 1:11. So we partake of the table in anticipation of His coming: to glorify the saints and to reject those who have condemned themselves. Yes, we must "take it seriously" for it is indeed a serious matter (1 Cor. 11:27-34) that cannot rightly be taken any other way.

James McClenny