I have received of the Lord that which also I have delivered unto you. — I Corinthians 11:23.
Thus St. Paul speaks of the instructions he received with regard to the Lord’s Supper. The Holy Supper is the Lord’s Supper in reality only when it is administered in conformity with Christ’s institution as recorded in Holy Writ. For this, the following five points are observed.
First there must be communicants who partake of the Lord’s Supper. (If you would be such a communicant, you should announce yourself to your pastor. It is his duty to see to it that no unbidden guests appear.)
Secondly, there must be bread and wine, grape-wine. The pastor must see to this.
Thirdly, this bread and wine are consecrated, that is to say, they are set apart for the special usage in the Sacrament as it has been instituted by Christ. (The pastor does this when he recites the words recorded in the Scriptures concerning the account of the first Lord’s Supper.)
Fourthly, the bread and wine are distributed, and the communicants must eat and drink them.
Fifthly, it is to be clearly professed that this Supper is the body and blood of Christ, as He Himself has said.
These are the chief points that will be observed when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated in a church according to Christ’s institution. Anything beyond these five points is not essential to the Lord’s Supper, and is a matter of Christian liberty. Sadly, many churches do not follow the institution of Christ in the Holy Communion, and, therefore, do not have the true Lord’s Supper.
PRAYER – I thank Thee, dear Lord, that in these last days of sore distress Thou dost permit me to find places of public worship where Thy Holy Sacrament is still administered in its truth and purity, according to Thine own institution. Grant me grace, I beg Thee, to hold fast to this treasure, and to resist every falsification whatsoever of this holy Sacrament, lest I be cheated out of Thy grace. Grant that, in firm faith, I may be comforted and strengthened by the heavenly gift Thou givest me in Holy Communion. Amen.
For Thy consoling Supper, Lord,
Be praised throughout all ages!
Preserve it, for in every place
The world against it rages.
Grant that this Sacrament may be
A blessed comfort unto me
When living and when dying.