The Lord's Supper-bear with me-what's the point


#1

Can wiser minds than mine possibly help me put the pieces in my mind together?
Protestants say that the Lord’s Supper is just a symbol. What would be the point of Jesus instituting a symbol to remember Him? Couldn’t we just read the Bible, or pray? Why use items such as bread and wine/grape juice? To most Protestants (well, really I’m just thinking of Bible Christians) the Bible is the be all, end all, so how could this ritual add to God’s inerrant word?
If it (the Lord’s Supper) really is just bread and wine, wouldn’t receiving it with any degree of reverence constitute idolatry? At least it seems to if we use the Bible Christians measure for what idolatry is. If the ritual is something ordinary, then what makes it different than lunchtime? If it’s extraordinary, it’s idolatry because they do not even believe in the True Presence.
For Catholics, even if we were mistaken about the True Presence, at least we really cannot be committing idolatry because we do intend to be worshipping the One, True God.


#2

I was thinking about this while writing in another thread.
What is the point of the ‘this is my body’ and ‘this is my blood’ without the understanding of what Jesus said about his flesh and blood in John 6.
In other words, without John 6, the last supper would just be confusing to the apostles.

michel


#3

The Apostles KNEW what Christ was doing at the Last Supper…John 6 was written so that WE would know. :slight_smile:


#4

I think where they’re coming from (and I am completely willing to be corrected on this) is the “Do this in remembrance of me”. That when they have their Communion services, they are doing just what our Lord asked them to- they are eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of him. Rather like raising a glass to the memory of a loved one at a wake. You’re not worshipping the wine you’re raising to dear dead Clementine, you’re offering that wine to her memory.
:shrug:

I know, I know, such a thing requires a willful ignorance of all that went before it, but I’m saying that’s where I think they’re coming from.


#5

**To most Protestants (well, really I’m just thinking of Bible Christians) the Bible is the be all, **

**Catholics and Orthodox and the other Apostolic Churches are the REAL Bible Christians.

Protestants pick and choose.**


#6

You are completely correct and I agree with you. I feel sorry for those who believe its all symbolism because they are misssing oh so much! I am eternally grateful to our Heavenly Father that I was raised Catholic and given the knowledge and truth to truely understand and participate in the Mass.


#7

As a protestant I thought I’d share on how we do communion…

We usually have the bread and wine (usually juice but can be real wine) and someone who gets up and does a little sermon on what Jesus has done for us on the cross while communion is being handed out. We don’t go up and take it one by one like at Mass, we take it altogether at the same time while remembering what Jesus did. It’s quite a beautiful thing and we thank Jesus afterwards.

So it’s not really like just eating a snack in church, it’s a very important thing to us.

Also, if Jesus isn’t in the bread and wine as Catholics believe the Eucharistic worship is indeed idolatry. (just commenting from the person aboves comments that it wouldn’t really be) If Jesus isn’t present in the Eucharist, then you are indeed worshipping mere bread.


#8

If Jesus was not present in the Eucharist it would be idolatry. However, Jesus IS present in the Eucharist and this is supported by both Scripture and the Early Church Fathers.


#9

I was just sharing how we do communion and my opinion on the above comments, I’m not about to start that same old argument. Plenty of threads going on that already.


#10

Thanks so much for sharing this!

I have a question, and as you’re the only Prot. who’s responded so far, I’m not “picking” on you, I only have no other person to direct it to.

Do you think you could articulate what makes Communion different from any other meal you might offer on behalf of a loved one? What makes your Communion service different from a meal family and friends might share after a funeral? Food is consumed, speeches given about the deceased, fellowship and shared experiences.

Obviously, the Person being honored is God, and not a human relation, so I “get” that, but what makes your Communion experience different from what I’ve described above?

Thanks!


#11

There’s no reasonable explanation that the Last Supper is even mentioned in the Bible, with it’s clear order of ritual, unless it was more than just some simple, symbolic last meal. Scripture answers the protestations in John 6 against His statement, “My flesh is real flesh”… when Jesus says, “this is my body which will be given up for you…DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.”

And so, do what? Play make-believe? Have a symbolic wafer? No, it would be silly to command a repeat ceremony that falls short of the original. We don’t imitate the first Thanksgiving by setting out a roasted turkey made of wax. Passover isn’t celebrated by the Jews with a lamb made of Jell-o. We imitate in like manner the ritual of the Pilgrims with a real turkey, real flesh. It’s absurd that Christ would command us to repeat a ritual of consuming His flesh, but not REALLY His flesh…just some gluten. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people believe that God would send the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire, but He can’t perform transubstantiation through the words of the priest?


#12

It’s different because we are aware of the spiritual side to taking communion, it’s not something to be taken lightly. We must confess our sins before taking communion and not take it unworthily. We honor and respect God while partaking in communion.

I guess your impression of it would be kind of like when someone stands up and gives a speech at a party and goes “Cheers! Here’s to Jesus thanks for dying for us mate!” It is not like that at all!

It’s kind of like how you partake in communion at mass but just imagine that instead of going up and drinking the wine and bread at the altar, you sit in your pew and wait until everyone has the Eucharist and a bit of wine. Then the priest (for sake of imagining) or someone from the congregation stands up and says what the bread and wine are symbolic of and we thank Jesus and remember him and what he has done. Then we all take the bread and wine together. We do it quietly and thankfully, same as you do at Mass.

The only real difference would be that one person doesn’t distribute the communion to the whole congregation so there is no waiting in lines. Also everyone takes the wine, not just a few people.


#13

What is the nature of that spiritual side? How does your community interpret 1 Corinthians 11:29 vis a vis Communion?

It’s kind of like how you partake in communion at mass but just imagine that instead of going up and drinking the wine and bread at the altar, you sit in your pew and wait until everyone has the Eucharist and a bit of wine. Then the priest (for sake of imagining) or someone from the congregation stands up and says what the bread and wine are symbolic of and we thank Jesus and remember him and what he has done.

Well, at Mass I don’t take bread and wine. I receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord. There is no symbolism. It is actually what Our Lord said it was. His Body. His Blood. I don’t need someone to remind me of what happened in the past- I am assisting at the continuation of that “past”.

Then we all take the bread and wine together. We do it quietly and thankfully, same as you do at Mass.

The only real difference would be that one person doesn’t distribute the communion to the whole congregation so there is no waiting in lines. Also everyone takes the wine, not just a few people.

No, the only difference isn’t the manner in which people receive. If I receive in line before my husband, we are still united together in the Body of Christ the same as we would be if we received at the same time.
The real difference is that I don’t have to eat a piece of bread and remember Jesus in a symbolic way. I receive Him in a literal way.

Again, I’m not trying to pick on you. I, like the OP, am honestly wondering what the point is of eating bread and wine (or juice) while remembering Jesus.


#14

I’m not trying to attack the way the Catholic church does things Feedmysheep, I was just answering the question on how we do it at our church in a way that it would be understood.

I understand you believe that you are taking Jesus physically, we don’t however. We believe that when Jesus said “do this in memory of me” we are to partake in the bread and wine together to remember him and remember what he did on the cross.

That’s not pointless in our minds.


#15

I can respect that, and I understand you’re not trying to attack the CC, I never got that vibe from you. I did, however, want to clear up some misconceptions you seem to have about what the Eucharist is. :thumbsup:

So, to clear up some misconceptions*** I ***clearly have about how things go in your community, please bear with me while I repeat some questions. Thanks!!

First: How does your community interpret 1 Corinthians 11:29 vis a vis Communion?

Second: If the bread and wine are symbols, then what is the point of eating them? What are you accomplishing by doing this?

Thanks again for bearing with me. I’m slow, I’ll be the first to admit it.


#16

We interpret the verse as that the Corinthians had been making the meal a time of overeating and getting drunk rather than a time of reflecting on the death and resurrection of the Lord. Read from verse 1 cor 11 17 and you will see what I mean.

Again, we do it to remember Jesus.


#17

Interesting. I went back and re-read 1 Corinthians, and here’s what I noticed- there’s a big gap between the mention of gluttony at the meal and the warning about failing to discern the body and blood of Christ (verse 21 mentions the gluttony, six verses later St. Paul speaks about failure to recognize the body and blood).

So I wonder- why insert verses 23-26 in between the condemnation of gluttony and the admonishment to properly discern the body and blood of Christ before receiving?
1 Corinthians 23-26:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come.

Immediately following this reminder, in Jesus’ own words, that the bread and wine are His body and blood, St. Paul reminds us that if we fail to recognize the body and blood in the bread and wine, we’re in big trouble. Why would he interrupt his thought about gluttony at the meal with the reiteration of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, I wonder?
What are your thoughts?

Again, we do it to remember Jesus.

How is it different from any other thing your community does to remember Jesus? How is it different from, say, a Christmas play, or singing a hymn, or listening to a sermon? This is the heart of the question I have.

Thanks again!


#18

I’m not exactly sure what response you are after… or even if you are asking a question at all?

Is it just that you didn’t like my answer? Or are you enticing an argument from me?

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come.

I think that because as a Catholic you have been taught that it’s actually Jesus and part of how your Church believes that God handes out His grace that you are unable to see another side to it. It’s breaking bread and drinking wine as a symbol of the sacrifice Jesus did on the cross… the bread representing His body and the wine representing His blood.

We don’t believe Jesus’ saving grace comes from the sacraments, we believe it comes from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.


#19

I’m reading defensiveness from this post. To back up and to diffuse the situation, I’m only trying to understand the same question the OP posed- namely, what’s the point of celebrating the Lord’s Supper in a Protestant community that views it as a symbolic gesture. I know that you’re the only Protestant who’s even attempted to explain, and I thank you so much for that. I’m sure it’s very frustrating to be put in the position of having to speak for an entire group.
If I have somehow come across as offensive, please accept my apologies- when questions are written, rather than spoken, it is easy to lose or misconstrue the tone which the author intended.

I am honestly interested in your thoughts about my previous post. I’m not trying to argue with you, and whether I “like” your answer or not is beside the point. I’m trying to understand your viewpoint. Answers to the questions I’ve asked will, I think, help me do so.

To sum up my questions:

  1. You mentioned that your community interprets 1 Corinthians 11:27 in light of the gluttony mentioned, specifically, in 1 Corinthians 11:21. My question is this: How does your community then interpret 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, vis a vis 1 Corinthians 11:27? In other words, why the detour between verse 21 and verse 27?

  2. How does your remembrance of Jesus through Communion differ from your remembrance of Him in other activities your community engages in?

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come.

:thumbsup:

I think that because as a Catholic you have been taught that it’s actually Jesus and part of how your Church believes that God handes out His grace that you are unable to see another side to it.

If this is true about me, then help me see another side of it. I’m very interested in understanding your understanding of it.

It’s breaking bread and drinking wine as a symbol of the sacrifice Jesus did on the cross… the bread representing His body and the wine representing His blood.

I understand that you use the bread and wine as symbols to remind you of His Sacrifice. But why do it with bread and wine? Why “do” it with anything at all, other than words? Again, I’m not trying to be confrontational, I’m honestly struggling for understanding.

We don’t believe Jesus’ saving grace comes from the sacraments, we believe it comes from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

This is a whole other thread, which would make for a very good discussion. In fact, I’m pretty sure it HAS made for a good discussion, in many, many previous threads! :wink:


#20

To myredeemerlives:

I am starting to get interested to.

I have always wondered if many other faith communities believed in the possibility of Christ being in time and outside of time. What I mean is the Eucharist is Christ being heavenly and not in time, being in the ever present and eternal. This would be the Word as in John’s Gospel as part of the Trinity that created the universe. However, Jesus was the Christ *in our time *since He was made incarnate and able to relate to us. This could be how he was able to give of Himself to the apostles at the last supper.

Have you ever heard of this before?

mdcpensive1


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