DOING THE THINGS JESUS DOES
Eating & Drinking with God
DINING ROOM TABLE CHRISTIANITY
We are near the end of our practice of eating and drinking with the third dimension: eating and drinking with God. The Lord’s supper was originally exactly what it sounds like, a supper. A meal around a table with Jesus and his community. This core practice changed the Roman Empire. How can we let something as simple as eating and drinking with one another change our own communities?
READ: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
DISCUSS: What role has communion played in your life?
The Lord’s supper, communion, the eucharist – whatever you call this meal, it is at the core of the way of Jesus. In the early church, there’s no doubt it was the center of gravity in the weekly gathering. But a lot has changed over 2,000 years. Originally, it was a meal, not a bite of bread and a sip of juice or wine. It was enjoyed around a table, not in a church building. It was a joyful time spent together more than a quiet, contemplative time alone. And it was about communion with each other, not just communion with God. In fact, it was even a vehicle for social justice, as it gave food to the poor in the church and the city. But over time, the meal became the mass. In this Practice, we explore repurposing our weekly meal with our Community as Jesus’ meal, or “the Lord’s supper.” This practice is split over two weeks – the first week will focus on talking together about communion and the second week will be practicing a communion meal.
DISCUSS: How can we think about Communion differently?
Liturgy from the Didache, a church manual of sorts, a “how-to” book from the early first century (70 AD-140 AD).
Regarding the Eucharist, you shall give thanks as follows. First, concerning the cup: “We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of David, your child, which you made known to us through Jesus your child. To you be the glory forever.
Next, concerning the broken bread: “We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge that you made known to us through Jesus your child. To you be glory forever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and gathered to become one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For the glory and power are yours through Jesus Christ forever.
And when you have had enough to eat, give thanks as follows:
“We give thanks, holy Father, for your holy name which you have made reside in our hearts, and for the knowledge, faith and immorality that you made known to us through Jesus your child. To you be glory forever.
You, O Master Almighty, created all things for the sake of your name, and gave both food and drink to humans for their refreshment, that they might give you thanks. And you graciously provided us with spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your child. Above all, we thank you because you are powerful. To you be the glory forever.
Remember your church, O Lord; save it from all evil and perfect it in your love. And gather it from the four winds into your kingdom, which you prepared for it. For yours is the power and glory forever.
May grace come and this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If anyone is holy let them come (to the Eucharist); if anyone is not, let them repent. Maranatha! Amen.
But permit the prophets to give thanks as often as they wish.
DISCUSS: How might celebrating communion in this way change your experience?
For next practice: Next week we will be practicing a communion meal through a guided liturgy. The liturgy will have some call and response, scripture reading, sharing about our lives, and taking communion together. The hope is to experience communion as a community around a common table. It might be a good idea to plan now for the coming practice by asking someone to consider leading the practice and designating who will bring the bread and juice for communion.
Leaders Guide for Practice 7: Weeks 1 & 2