By Tommy Kiker
I remember wondering why I could not have the little piece of bread and the small cup of juice that my friend Noel was able to take. I did not question my parents on that Sunday morning, but later asked my mom and she explained that Noel had given his life to Jesus, and you could only take the Lord’s Supper after you had become a Christian. She then explained the Lord’s Supper and the gospel. It was the beginning of my searching and as I was further exposed to the gospel (particularly one night at the parsonage at Falls Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina) eventually on June 14, 1981 my mom led me to the Lord and I put my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have heard and seen countless lives encountered with and changed by the gospel as it is presented through the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Paul reminds us that as we observe the ordinance we proclaim the death of Christ. We remember what Christ has done for us, and we look forward to His return.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Cor 11:26)
Yesterday was a special day of worship for my son and I. I had looked forward to this weekend for a couple of months. My family and I hung out all afternoon Friday, took a tour of Cowboys stadium, went out to eat, and then spent all day Saturday at Six Flags. It seems that Six Flags was a little too much for Karis and she got sick Saturday night. We were not convinced Sunday morning that it was not a stomach bug so Carol Ann stayed home with Karis, and Caleb and I went off to church. I taught Sunday School and then Caleb and I went to worship and we participated in the Lord’s Supper.
I found myself watching my son as our pastor explained what we were doing, discussed the elements, exhorted us from 1 Corinthians 11, and led us in the receiving of the elements. My son, who is very active and often unable to be still (not sure where he gets it from), listened intently to every word, remained very reverent and it appeared reflective during the entire process. I was overwhelmed! I normally get a little emotional during the Lord’s Supper, but I sat there and reflected on God’s grace and the work of the Gospel and how it had saved me! Then I rejoiced in the fact that not only did God send His son to save me from my sin, but also for my children, and so many others that I love so dearly.
My joy was increased as my son and I got in the van to drive home. I told him how proud I was of how he behaved during the service and that I was glad we got to worship together. He responded that he was glad as well and then asked me a question. He asked me to share with him of when I gave my life to Jesus. After I answered, without me even asking, he shared of when he gave his life to Jesus. My son got it; he understood one of the main purposes of the Lord’s Supper. It had reminded him to reflect on what Christ has done, and the difference that has made in his life and in the life of others.
Churches, pastors, and parents please do not neglect the Lord’s Table. Do not miss the opportunity it presents to reflect on the gospel, remember the gospel, rejoice in the gospel, and to share the gospel. I love preaching, I love doing the preaching, and I love listening to preaching. However, I am convinced that we are not capable of preaching a more powerful sermon then the one we preach and receive when we gather rightly at the Lord’s table.
Dr. Kiker is the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, James T. Draper Jr. Chair of Pastoral Ministry, and chair of the pastoral ministry department at Southwestern Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @tommykiker. This article originally appeared at TommyKiker.com.
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