Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Communion / The Lord's Supper

To really understand communion, often called the Lord's Supper, it helps to have background. This study takes more than a post or two can accomplish so please spend some extra time studying and praying for understanding. I think you'll be excited about what you learn and maybe learn some things you never knew!

Read about The Passover & Exodus: (Exodus 12) The blood from the lamb was used so that God’s wrath would “pass over.” Jot down some notes of your own too! 

the Last/Lord’s Supper”: Luke 22 -The Passover Jesus celebrated before he was crucified was later called both the Last supper or the Lord’s supper.

The following are additional insights from Douglas Jacoby (Teaching Consultant & principal instructor for the Athens Institute of Ministry since 2003)

There are five Greek terms employed in describing this sacred meal. As my paper argues, the early Christian practice was an actual meal, not a token observance. Understanding these terms will enable us more easily to enter into the discussion of communion, appreciating its history while moving toward an understanding that may differ from our current practice.” (Each bullet references the original Greek word or phrase)

* Communion is the most common term, and emphasizes the body life of the church: life in the body of the Lord as well as life in the body of believers. The common meal we participate in shows that the fellowship of the body of Christ transcends ethnic, social, racial, linguistic and other barriers. Location: 1 Corinthians 10:16. Greek word:

* The Lord's Supper
(1 Corinthians 11:20) suggests a focus on Christ, the command of Christ to celebrate this meal, and the continuity with Jesus' own Last Supper. The natural understanding of the Lord's Supper is a meal, as opposed to a snack or token representation. Greek phrase: kyriakon deipnon.

* Eucharist comes from the Greek word for "thanksgiving" and stresses the attitude every disciple should strive to maintain: gratitude to the Lord for salvation. This term is especially common in high-church circles. Location: 1 Corinthians 14:16 (see also 10:30). Greek word:

* Love feast (Jude 12) was another term for communion. Ancient religions often celebrated meals in honor of their gods, and their feasting often led to carousing. By contrast, the Christian meal accentuated the Lordship of Jesus and was a visible and concrete expression of the awesome love of God, as well as of the tough love that binds all true Christians together. Greek word: agape (dative plural in this passage).

* The breaking of bread (Acts 20:7) is another synonym. As Jesus' physical body was broken, so the bread of the communion is physically broken and shared. We all eat of the one loaf. This term underscores the sacrifice of Jesus as well as our common dependence on the true bread of life, Jesus Christ (John 6:35). We recognize that 'breaking of bread' can refer to any meal, but in the Christian context, it has special meaning for the communion. Thus whereas Acts 2:46 probably refers to all meals eaten together, the same phrase in 2:42 and 20:7 refers to the communion. Greek phrase: he klasis tou artou.
Additional Verses: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Acts 2:42,

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