Saturday, September 25, 2010

So, how did it go?

So some questions have arisen about the Lord's Supper Fellowship Celebration, so here's my brief attempt at an explanation:

We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is an organism rather than an organization. Consequently, we are not starting a church. Jesus establishes his own assembly. (Matthew 16:18)

We are trying to act faithfully as members of the body of Christ. When Christians assemble together, we believe that it is a manifestation of the living church regardless of the meeting place. (Matthew 18:19).

While location is theoretically irrelevant, in Paul's letters, the only mention of a church meeting together is in someone's home (Rom 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2) Conversely, Paul told the Athenians, "[God] does not live in temples built by hands, and he is not served by human hands as if he needed anything." Acts 17:24-25 (NIV) Within Biblical Christianity there is no such thing as a sacred building, but rather we are individually and collectively the temple of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 3:16 and Ephesians 2:19-22) As Paul says in Ephesians 2:19, we are "members of the family of God."

In practical terms, we believe that a home is a natural place for family to gather together. We deliberately chose the time of 1:00 PM so as not to compete with organized church meetings. Obviously, we would rather compete against the NFL. We've committed our home for this purpose for seven weeks. We would love for people to come join with us as often as they can.

Wherever believers assemble, we believe Paul's teaching regarding our gathering together is prescriptive not merely descriptive. Paul, writes, "If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command." 1 Corinthians 14:37 (NIV)

Last week, the Lord's Supper Fellowship Celebration began with people arriving, visiting, and becoming acquainted. We then ate dinner together. After dinner (Luke 22:20), we celebrated the Lord's Supper.

The celebration of the Lord's Supper is central to our common faith. The Apostle Paul writes, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the fellowship of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship of the body of Christ? For as one loaf of bread, we the many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread loaf." 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 What fellowship do we have apart from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? If this is our bond, then we can and should remember it together.

After sharing the elements of the Lord's Supper, we had a time of sharing patterned according to 1 Corinthians 14:26-40, "What then shall we say, brothers? Whenever you come together . . ."

After sharing, we ate dessert and continued visiting until people left.

The group that came last week included Christians from very different church backgrounds. Nevertheless, this gathering seemed to be natural. And so it should because we are all members of the same body.

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